Is the NFL afraid of an openly gay player?

NFL logo on fieldBY TRAVIS WALDRON
Think Progress

Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, a veteran National Football League reporter, reported Wednesday that over the summer, at least one NFL player was close to coming out as gay. The player, according to Freeman’s report, was a free agent, but he was negotiating a contract with a team that knew he was preparing to come out. Another gay player was close to signing at the same time. The second player’s team also knew he was gay and didn’t care. When it asked current players, they said it would be no problem. That deal fell apart too, when the player, who Freeman describes as a “high-profile defensive back,” requested too much money.

More interesting, though, is why the deal with the first player never happened. All of this was happening around the time that the NBA’s Jason Collins came out as gay in April, a major media story in a sports world still looking for its first openly gay player in one of the four major American sports leagues. It turned into a media storm, and that, according to Freeman, scared the NFL team away.

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