Kevin Grayson, a star wide receiver for the University of Richmond from 2008-2011, has come out publicly as gay in an interview with WTVR in Richmond, Va. (video below) He told the station he was out to select teammates, but is now out to the world. Being closeted "eats away at you like its own cancer," he told the station.
"People didn't believe it because I was an athlete" Grayson said in an exclusive interview with CBS 6.
"They're like ‘Kevin plays football, he plays basketball he runs track. No way you know? Those are the types of things where if I could go back and say; ‘Why can't I be an athlete? Why can't I be a star player? Why can't I be the guy making plays that helps my team win, and still on the flip side, be a gay male?' ...
He said he heard things on the team like "stop being a princess, stop being a faggot,' you know- ‘Homo!' ... A couple of times I laughed at it. I thought it was funny to think about whether or not if I told this coach, what would they say?"
Grayson was a decorated high school player and helped Richmond win its college division's football national title in 2008. With the Spiders, he is second all-time among receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. In 2011, he tore a ligament in his knee and was not drafted by an NFL team. In 2012, he played professionally in Italy with the Parma Panthers. He helped his team win the Italian Football League and was named MVP.
"I can't respond to everyone individually," Grayson wrote on Facebook Tuesday night after the TV report aired, "but just wanted thank everyone for the support and love, truly truly means a lot, all praise be to God always! Hope everyone has a blessed night!! #Blessed."
Grayson is in a relationship and lives in Charlottesville, Va. He said he did not come out while playing because he didn't want to be known as the "gay player." But he now wants other athletes to know "just because you're gay doesn't mean you can't be the athlete you want to be. Doesn't mean you can't be a star."
Check out the WTVR video, where he says that he knows gay players in the NFL: