With marriage equality and the Supreme Court dominating news today, rumors are swirling that a current NFL player is considering coming out of the closet, and soon.
If a report from Mike Freeman of CBS Sports is to be believed, it would be a controversial and virtually unprecedented move in the world of male-dominated pro sports.
Freeman does not name the player, but says if he does come out, he wants to keep playing. He says he’s basing this on interviews with current and former players.
Freeman writes, “I’m told this player believes the time is now for someone to take this step - despite the remarks from [49ers defensive back] Chris Culliver."
Controversy arising recently at the Indianapolis Scouting combine, when prospects were asked questions about their sexuality, has proven to be another obstacle.
“This player’s true concern, I’m told, is not the reaction inside NFL locker rooms but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans."
"That is the only thing preventing him from coming out."
Although there have been celebrated gay athletes - Greg Louganis, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, to name a few - most came out only after their careers were over.
Freeman states there has never been an active openly gay player in a major U.S. team sport, but in an era of red equal signs on Facebook, is this about to change?
We may soon find out.