According to a report at ProFootballTalk, safety Kerry Rhodes will work out with the New York Giants on Tuesday. Just a couple days ago, speculation by Deadspin's Drew Magary and PFT claimed Rhodes might be "banned" from the NFL because of rumors and reports that he's gay.
When the speculation brewed Friday, the Giants were the first team I thought of for comment. An executive there wasn't able to comment -- now I know why.
We said two days ago that it was unlikely Rhodes was being blacklisted by the league or a cabal of team execs. We talked about his age, his cost, and the idea that being in the closet surrounded by videos and speculation about his sexual orientation may be more damaging. Our comments were dismissed by some, because there is still this bizarre perception that the NFL hates gay people and that every possible gay man must be purposely expelled by the league. Poppycock. If Rhodes gets signed, it would certainly put a temporary end to the claims that he's been "banned" from playing in the NFL because he might be gay.
But let's be super clear. This is a workout. If he doesn't get signed, that doesn't mean the Giants are afraid of signing someone who may be gay. Teams work out players every week so they can see if they've been sitting on a couch playing video games, or if they've been staying in shape. The Giants could sign him Wednesday, or add him to a short list in case of injury, or (most often) not do anything at all.
Though, after getting torched for 77 points in their first two games this season, the Giants can use some defensive help.
If Rhodes is gay, he couldn't find a better landing spot than the Giants. The front office is deeply supportive of LGBT rights and is very inclusive -- Owner Steve Tisch was a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage as it came up for debate in New York a couple years ago. The team is also adept at handling the voracious New York media.