Here’s a side to this on going story we’ve not heard before. Here we have a player who isn’t necessarily for and against gay players in the NFL but he does have an opinion on whether or not they should make their sexual orientation public knowledge.
Seattle Seahawks defender Chris Clemons sent out some tweets in which he was critical of the motive behind an NFL player coming out the closet. Over the past couple of weeks, months, and even years the narrative has been that NFL locker rooms would accept an openly gay player with open arms. That’s more a talking point than anything.
Chris Clemons sent out a series of tweets but here is the one we’ll focus on:
I’m not against anyone but I think it’s a selfish act. They just trying to make themselves bigger than the team.
Now they may not be trying to make themselves bigger than the team, but that’s essentially what would happen. The sports media is almost trying to force a player to come out the closet at this point. They talk of how he’d be accepted, how he’d be a pioneer in the ilk of Jackie Robinson, and they even talk about the endorsement deals he’s likely have an opportunity to cash in on.
With those points being prevalent in the conversation about gay athletes, it’s not hard to see why Clemons would consider it a selfish act to come out. So here’s a thought: Why not just come out to your teammates and coaches? You’d be free from the pressure of living in fear and you’d see first hand if the locker room will truly accept you.
Coming out publicly could turn your teammates against you not necessarily because of who you prefer to lay with but because of the distraction the media may potentially cause. Without a doubt there will be a circus around this guy depending on how much he wants to ‘cash in.’
We do live in a society that is more tolerant of people’s differences than 20 and 30 years ago, but we’re not exactly tolerant as a whole. Yet and still, an NFL locker room, I would imagine, is just like any other men’s locker room or place where testosterone is prevalent. The reality is if you’re different, guys will joke around. Whether your tall, short, your hairline is receding, you dress funny, you smell funny, or anything at all guys will make fun of you and it’s usually all in jest.
All that being said, even as someone who isn’t inflamed by Clemons’ opinion, it’s not hard to see why athletes do not come out the closet while they’re still playing. We’ve heard some of the things said about them in the media by other players so imagine what is said behind closed doors, or more importantly, in locker rooms.