Each week we’ll be taking a look at the NFL teams involved in the Sunday Night Football game and track their record — team, coaches and players — on LGBT issues.

This week, the 7-6 Dallas Cowboys travel to Oakland to play the 6-7 Raiders. Both teams still have a chance, though remote, of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, there are a few LGBT-related angles.

“I want me some glory hole.” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was pining for the good old days in a 2012 interview.

Somebody needs to get Jerry a link to Urban Dictionary. BTW, I know glory holes are not exclusively a gay thing, but reminding people of a great malapropism is too good to pass up.

Both these teams have been on Sunday Night Football twice before, so there is a not a lot new to report, but it’s a perfect time to synthesize all the LGBT angles.


  • In 2014, the Cowboys signed openly gay defensive end Michael Sam to their practice squad after he was cut by the St. Louis Rams. Sam had come out prior to the draft. The Cowboys released Sam a few weeks later.
  • Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman has long been the subject of rumors that he is gay, and he has consistently denied them. “It is not my lifestyle,” he said in 2015.
  • The Dallas Cowboys missed a chance to register the Cowboys.com domain name, which instead for a while was a gay male dating site for real cowboys. Basically, a representative for the Dallas Cowboys screwed up an online auction in 2007 and the domain name went to a higher bidder. In 2012, Cowboys.com debuted as a dating site.
  • A former Cowboys assistant coach, Jimmy Robinson, has an openly gay son, Jim. The elder Robinson poignantly told Outsports how he accepted his son. “Jim, you have nothing to be sorry about. You're gay because that's how God made you.”


  • When the Raiders played in Mexico City last year, Mexican Raiders fans chanted a gay slur a half-dozen times against the opponent, the Houston Texans. The same thing happened again this year in Mexico City when the Raiders played the Patriots, though CBS did a good job of masking the chant.
  • Kwame Harris is a former 49ers and Raiders lineman who came out as gay after retiring. He was outed as the result of a legal issue involving a fistfight at a restaurant with a former boyfriend. ESPN did a wonderful profile of Harris, where he discussed how his sexual orientation became public.

When asked how he feels to have been outed not by choice but by chance, he says only that he's relieved to add his name to the list of former pro athletes who are gay. "I'm just a number now — and we need to have numbers," he says, noting that any conflict with his sexuality ended with his NFL career. "I felt those two things were incompatible. No one was telling me not to come out, but the implicit rules are much stronger than the explicit ones — the shame implied by secrecy. I don't want other gay athletes to feel this way."

Game pick: Both teams have greatly underachieved, so flip a coin. Raiders 20, Cowboys 17.