David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
The longtime gay rights advocate says attitudes are changing rapidly in the sport.
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has long been a supporter of gay rights and he says it's wrong to think that today's NFL players could not handle an openly gay teammate. He gave an interview to station 92.3 The Ticket in Cleveland.
I think for far too long there was this perception, or I guess I would call it a misperception, that our locker rooms in the NFL are extremely homophobic and that could not be further from the truth. ... The overwhelming majority would be completely fine with that. It’s important for closet gay athletes everywhere, not just at the professional level, but more importantly athletes at the younger level in high school and college, to understand they do have support around them and that they can come out and feel comfortable. And honestly, that is going to help save lives."
Fujita also made a point that I have stressed -- the first gay player will be a huge story, then life will go on:
Once a guy comes out, yeah, it’ll be very newsworthy. It’ll be a huge, huge breakthrough and then it’ll be another one and another one and another one. Then it’ll be just another guy in the locker room. So the sooner we get to that point, we can get past all the difficult things the PR staffs feel they might have and should be ashamed they even feel that way, but once we get over that first hurdle then everything should be just fine.”
There is a lot more from the very articulate Fujita and you can check out the full interview at Sports Radio Interviews.