Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) may have spent most of the summer rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee, but he grabbed headlines for comments off the field regarding gay athletes. In an interview with GQ.com, Griffin III said he thought now was the time for gay football players to out.
RG3 stated, “If they’re looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window.”
Some may be surprised to hear that from Griffin III, a devout Christian, who tight end Fred Davis dubbed “Black Jesus,” would come out in support of gay football players. This isn’t the first piece of news regarding gay athletes in sports this year. In April, Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete to come out as gay.
As athletes continue to come out in support of their gay colleagues, RG3’s statement is the latest sign that the sports world could see more openly gay participants.
Gay Players in the NFL
RG3 isn’t the first player to come out in support of gay NFL players. Veteran Brendon Ayanbadejo has been a highly visible defender of gay rights. In April, he declared that a handful of NFL players were considering coming out as gay. He stated, “There are up to four players being talked to right now, and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together.”
No NFL players have come out so far, but a unified announcement would be the biggest moment yet for gay athletes in sports. After conducting a series of interviews with players, Outsports found that an overwhelming majority of players, including Griffin III, would support a gay teammate.
Kerry Rhodes Still Unemployed
After MediaTakeOut released photos of all-pro safety Kerry Rhodes displaying affection toward his assistant, rumors swirled that the former Arizona Cardinal would be one of the first gay NFL players to come out. Rhodes quickly denied claims that he was gay, but the rumors remain. The 31-year-old has yet to sign with an NFL team despite a stellar 2012 season in which he intercepted four passes and anchored a strong Cardinals’ secondary. While it’s possible that Rhodes just isn’t in NFL shape, it stands to reason that NFL owners may be reluctant to bring a player who is associated with these rumors into their locker rooms. If that’s the case, perhaps the NFL isn’t as forward-thinking a league as some believe.
RG3 in Hot Water?
This wasn’t the only off-the-field headline RG3 made over the summer. Deadspin reported that the former Heisman winner may be embroiled in a sexting scandal. Griffin III allegedly sent inappropriate pictures to a Virginia Commonwealth University student the day of his wedding. The story broke in June and nothing has come of it since, but further leaked texts could spell Favre-like doom for one of the most marketable players in the league. RG3 has talent, charisma and a bright future. Hopefully, Deadspin, which broke the Manti Te’o story and usually gets things right, got this one wrong. Griffin III would rather be known for his stellar play and open-minded acceptance of people that aren’t like him.
These stories aren’t going away, but right now players are focused on the young season. Fans are taking to opportunity to watch every game on multiple platforms, such as NFL cable packages, live webcasts and mobile streaming like the FiOS Verizon packages. As NFL fans anticipate a great season from RG3 and the potential for gay players to come out, one thing is clear: it’s good to have football back.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Redskins Quarterback: ‘Now Is The Time For A Gay NFL Player To Come Out’ (towleroad.com)
- Popular NFL Quarterback: Gay Players Should Come Out ‘Now’ (theblaze.com)
- Hooters Waitress Claims Redskins RGIII Sent Her ‘Inappropriate’ Texts on His Wedding Day (theblaze.com)
- Report: Is The NFL Blacklisting Kerry Rhodes For Being Gay? (chicago.cbslocal.com)