Why, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, are some gay male athletes in elite sports making the decision to come out of the closet, and why are a number of straight male athletes taking very public supportive stands as allies? For instance, earlier this year, NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport. Not long afterward, WWE superstar wrestler Darren Young became the first openly gay professional wrestler. In addition, NFL players Robert Griffin III, Chris Kluwe, Scott Fujita, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and more have stood up publicly as allies encouraging closeted NFL players and other gay athletes to come out now.
My name is Nathan Tuttle and I am a senior sociology undergraduate student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas (just north of Austin). From September - December 2013, I will be conducting a study to explore these questions. I am interested in talking with American professional male athletes (gay or straight) about their thoughts on why we are now seeing this trend in professional male sports. If you know any current or retired professional male athletes who might be willing to participate in my study, please contact me directly via my university email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or my cell phone # (210-844-5396).