On his Washington DC-based radio show with Chad Dukes, LaVar Arrington discussed an NFL player coming out of the closet, in response to our article highlighting 12 NFL players who wouldn't care. Arrington retweeted dozens of responses he got, and he said that player would be held up as a "national hero":
I know this, the first person that does it is going to be a hero. I know that. They may go through a lot of ridicule, they may go through a lot of different things, but this is one sport where you have not had a guy just outright while they were playing say look, this is what I am. I bet you he would turn out to be a national hero, if you ask me.
He said any football player who thinks he hasn't already played with a gay teammates has his head in the sand, and he thinks that will help the first gay player be accepted:
If you’e a player that has played football for a long time, if you’ve played in high school, if you’ve played in college, and if you’ve played in the league, you gotta be clear that there’s a strong possibility that one of your teammates is homosexual. I don’t think that that’s something guys should e naïve about. It’s kind of that unspoken word type deal or you don’t ask I won’t tell type of deal. But I think it could go over a little bit better than what we would think, just based upon thje fact that it would almost be like addressing the elephant in the room.
Arrington thinks the support will depend in part on how respected the player is. That is partly how good he is on the football field and how well-liked and well-known he is in the locker room.
Based upon possibly who the guy is, there would be an overwhelming amount of support. Based on who it is. Like if it was a guy who was super ridiculously respectable, I think that guys would support him. I think if he was a no-name guy, I don’t know how that would go across. I think just because it’s a lack of knowledge of the person.
He specifically called out stars on the Green Bay Packers as able to come out and receive full support: Greg Jennings, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews.
If any of those guys came out and said, you know what, I’m gay, I think everybody would support him. Now if it was Joe Schmo Mister Irrelevant that’s on the team, and he comes out and says he’s gay, I think he becomes an instant megastar…but I don’t know how players would feel about it because it’s almost kind of like disrespectful in a way.
They spent a good hour discussing the issue, and he delves into his old thinking that being gay was a choice. You can listen to it here.
Hat tip to Theo Rabinowitz and Andrew Garda.
PHOTO: LaVar Arrington #56 of the Washington Redskins looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Denver Broncos during game at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 9, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 21-19. (Photo by: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)