#NFL

Cleats Unnecessary: Former Football Star Tiki Barber Joins The Broadway Hit ‘Kinky Boots’

Former New York Giants player Tiki Barber is trading in his cleats for something a little bit flashier as he’s joining the cast of Broadway’s Kinky Boots in 2019. He will step into the role of Don, which was initially played by Daniel Sherman when it premiered back in 2013.

“I am so excited to be making my Broadway debut in Kinky Boots,” he said in a statement. “I was very fortunate to be part of the New York Giants for ten years and feel incredibly lucky to be joining another New York institution: Broadway.”

Fans of TIki’s have a limited time to see him on stage in The Big Apple, as he will only appear in Kinky Boots between January 21st through March 3rd. A publicity photo of him in the iconic red boots (see here) was released earlier today, and he appears to wear them quite well.

Kinky Boots became one of the biggest musicals on Broadway in the 2010 decade. The show, with music and lyrics written by pop legend Cyndi Lauper, was so huge that it stormed through the Tony’s that year, winning Best Musical and many other awards.  

Billy Porter, who initiated the role of Lola, took home his first Tony award that year as well for Best Actor in a Musical. He is currently up for a Golden Globe for his performance in the F/X critically acclaimed series Pose.

Ex-Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jeff Rohrer To Be First Same-Sex Married NFLer

Jeff Rohrer, a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker from 1982 to 1988, will marry his partner of two years, Joshua Ross, this Sunday in California.

In doing so, Rohrer will become the first NFL player - past or present - to celebrate a same-sex marriage.

Rohrer came out in an emotional interview with Outsports Cyd Zeigler this week sharing the emotional impact the acceptance of his former teammates has made.

Zeigler writes that the 59-year-old would pause at times as waves of gratitude washed over him talking about how supportive his football family has been as he’s shared this part of his life with them.

”The kindness of my friends and my family and my teammates,” Rohrer told Outsports. “It’s just been fucking ridiculous how nice they have been, and how supportive. And how they don’t care about any of that. They just love me, they always have. Nothing’s changed. Nothing’s changed.”

”To know that at a time like this, that they have my back, it’s fucking amazing,” said the 59-year-old. “I never expected it. I figured the world is fucked, but it’s not. It’s amazing. It’s fucking amazing.”

While the reception to his coming out has been exhilarating, it’s a complete 180 degree flip from his days in the NFL.

A second round draft pick in 1982, Rohrer played in 83 games over six seasons for the Cowboys. The entire time he hid his sexuality from his teammates.

"If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately," Rohrer shared with The New York Times. "It was a different world back then, people didn’t want to hear that."

Rohrer referred to his younger, closeted self as something of a ‘monster’ he felt he had to keep suppressed.

“So many nights I cried myself to sleep, feeling like I was the Wolfman, or Jekyll and Hyde, or Frankenstein, some kind of monster that only comes out when it’s a full moon, always living in the shadows.”

Now a successful producer of television commercials, Rohrer met his future husband at Tortilla Republic, a gay bar in West Hollywood.

He says he wasn’t out at the time, just ‘working in the area’ and was killing time so rush hour traffic could wind down. The two men struck up a conversation which led to Ross giving Rohrer his contact info.

Although he’d never dated a man before, he admits the feelings he’d kept at arm’s length for so long had become impossible to dismiss.

“My experience is that people are born gay, and anyone who wants to dispute that I’d be happy to have a conversation with them, including Mike Pence,” he told Outsports. “I’d love to sit down with him.”

Growing up in a conservative Southern California community, Rohrer says the idea of being gay “was not acceptable.”

“When I went to Yale, it was the same thing there,” he added. “And then I got drafted by the Cowboys. What am I going to do, come out then?”

It wasn’t until after Rohrer’s divorce - he has two children from his previous marriage - that he finally allowed himself to explore and express his authentic self.

“When I got divorced, I said the hell with it, I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” he told The New York Times. “Then I found Josh, and began to openly live the life I was born to live.”

Living that life has given him not only the happiness he’s found with Ross, a successful aesthetician and founder of SkinLab, but the courage to share his story with the public.

”I’m not going to change the world, but we can at least get the message out there that it’s OK and I’m proud of where I am,” admits the award-winner TV producer. “I’m not ashamed. I’m not the Wolfman anymore. My family and friends are 100% behind me. That kind of message can maybe move the ball forward a little bit.”

In 2017, Outsports’ Jim Buzinski wrote that 7 former NFL players who had played in regular season games have come out (Dave Kopay, Jerry Smith, Ray McDonald, Roy Simmons, Esera Tuaolo, Kwame Harris, Ryan O’Callaghan), as well as four more (Wade Davis, Dorien Bryant, Brad Thorson, Michael Sam) who had taken part in either training camps or preseason games. 

Click over to Outsports to read Rohrer’s full story. You can follow Jeff and Joshua on Instagram at @joshuaandjeffrey.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

(h/t Outsports)

High School Buddy Comes Forward As NFLer Aaron Hernandez' Secret Gay Lover

 

In April of 2017, former NFL player Aaron Hernandez committed suicide while incarcerated at Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts.

The 27-year-old was serving time after having been found guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013.

In the aftermath of his death, scores of news stories explored possible reasons why the former New England Patriots player would take his own life.

In march of this year, a documentary titled Aaron Hernandez Uncovered on Oxygen featured his former lawyer saying, “This man was clearly gay.”

Now, Hernandez’s boyhood friend, Dennis SanSoucie, has come forward claiming to be Hernandez’s on-again/off-again gay lover.

Speaking to the Boston Globe, SanSoucie says the relationship began in middle school and continued through high school.

During their time in high school, the two became a power duo on the football field with SanSoucie as quarterback and Hernandez as receiver. In their junior year of high school, SanSoucie connected with Hernandez for 67 passes for a total of 1,807 yards, a Connecticut high school record.

But SanSoucie tells the Globe that there was a completely different, secret life the two led outside of football.

SanSoucie shares that they would get high on marijuana often - before school, before football practice and before games.

It was during this time the two began a physical relationship as well, keeping the secret between themselves.

“Me and him were very much into trying to hide what we were doing,” SanSoucie tells the Globe. “We didn’t want people to know,”

SanSoucie says that growing up in the traditional, conservative community of Bristol, the idea of being openly gay would not have played well. SanSoucie was heading into the military after graduation and Hernandez was bound for football glory.

The Globe report also indicates that anything ‘gay’ would have been extremely difficult in the Hernandez home. Hernandez’s brother Jonathan shares that their dad had been “deeply homophobic.”

One day, when young Aaron came home and announced he wanted to become a cheerleader, his father put a quick stop to that.

‘Faggot’ was used all the time in our house,” says Jonathan. “All the time. Standing. Talking. Acting. Looking. It was the furthest thing my father wanted you to even look like in our household. This was not acceptable to him.”

The Globe also reports that both Jonathan Hernandez and George Leontire (Aaron Hernandez’s former lawyer) say that Aaron had hinted at having been the victim of sexual abuse as a child. But neither identify who that person would have been.

Now out and living in Las Vegas, SanSoucie says he believes Aaron would be proud of him for coming forward now.

“I really truly feel in my heart I got the thumbs-up from him,” he said.

(h/t Boston Globe)

(image via Wikimedia Commons - Jeffrey Beall/CC license)

Host Seems To Justify Fans Laughing At Male NFL Cheerleaders

Host Beau Davidson thinks NFL fans will get a laugh out of watching male cheerleaders dance with their female colleagues. Do you agree? Here's the viral clip.
 

Men will laugh, at the cheerleaders, yes, but Beau Davidson seems to take joy in pointing it out, over and over, almost saying WTF are you doing NFL!!?! You're setting these men up for failure and discrimination.  Do you think this would be the first time these 20-something men have faced ridicule and discrimination?

Beau Davidson, imagine a country that allows cross eyed narrow-minded individuals to "report" the news on tv, especially pretentious feeble males with Hardy Boys haircuts. Someone gave you a seat and it appears that you are not worthy, not because of your looks, your hair, but your ignorance. It's not a case of politically correct culture, it's correcting you for being a juvenile that should not have his job. Crap, that was some Beau-type honesty.

Now maybe it's a little harsh in asking Daily Blast LIVE to step up on this matter, but if Beau thinks this is a PC culture, what are 3 blondes doing sitting at the news desk. Is this FOX News?

Apparently other viewers were disgusted in Beau being honest in pointing out that NFL fans will mock the male cheerleaders.  Hell, I laugh at the female cheerleaders. In an attempt to deflect the attention from himself, Beau created a "check yourself" post on Facebook.  I'll include a screen capture of it at the end, just in case he decides to take it down and move on like nothing ever happened.

Our big ol' gay cheering mirror works just fine.

It goes without saying that these men will face ridicule, but the way that Davidson said it, it almost seemed that he was justifying the laughter. And does he think that these 20-something men do not know how to deal with negativity?  They are professional dancers/cheerleader and male in America. 

I've dated cheerleaders before and I would say most of them dealt with discrimination and ridicule way more than we know.  One I dated severely lacked confidence and a feeling of security. No matter what I said or did, he did not believe I supported him in his sport and profession.  His lack of confidence was detrimental to our relationship.

We don't need to hear from someone that justifies discrimination and degradation.  We elected someone like that.

I've never checked out Daily Blast LIVE, but if they support Beau-type "reporting" and sharing of opinions, I have no need to view the program or whatever it is in the future.


This is the opinion of this contributing writer and not the opinion of the other writers or Instinct Magazine.

First Male NFL Cheerleaders Take To The Field. Will They Face Criticism Or Will They Help The Sport Advance?

Back in March, we shared the awesome story of men breaking into the realm of NFL cheerleading (These Guys Are Here To Bring It On For The LA Rams Cheer Team!). Napolean Jinnies and Quinton Peron (pictured above) auditioned for the Rams cheer team and were among 76 finalists. Both California natives, Jinnies and Peron are classically-trained dancers and have a repertoire of performance experience.

Others are picking up on the success of these two men and one more as Football preseason begins.

Brace yourself for yet another onslaught of Hot Takes from the right about the death of masculinity: For the first time in history, two major NFL teams will have male cheerleaders dancing alongside women. This fall, Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies will join the Los Angeles Rams, and Jesse Hernandez joins the New Orleans Saints (with the encouragement, he says, of his mother). - themus.com

These men are not your muscle-bound stunt cheerleaders that lift girls and yell at the crowd. These men will be alongside the busty women in skirts as they strut, doing their own struts, cheers,and supporting their team.

Unsurprisingly, there has been a significant backlash to the hiring of the men from overwhelmingly male fans of the NFL. Alongside the obvious comments such as: “two dudes do not belong on a cheerleader squad,” one commenter went to the extreme of saying “This is so messed up, nobody wants to see this, it’s just disgusting and will continue hurt the NFL.”

Another added: “Let the them dig their own graves. I hope there isn’t an NFL in the future the way this is going.” There were also warnings issued about the reaction the men can expect from fans: “They’d better be ready for the taunting they’re gonna get.” - gcn.ie

With these men cheering, you know that I will finally be watching the cheerleaders.  I often forget they are there during the games, until they fill the commercial breaks with their routines or do their half-time show.

But how will these men fair while cheerleading?  Will their presence actually be a good thing when it comes to pay and treatment of the women on their squads?  The NFL has received some unwanted attention recently when it comes to the treatment, sexualization, and pay of cheerleaders. 

Earlier this year, allegations of exploitation emerged against the Washington Redskins, a team already embroiled in dispute over the ethnic slur in its name. Performers accused the team of forcing them to expose themselves to the team’s wealthy investors, and to act as escorts for them.

What’s more: Among cheerleaders, reports of eating disorders are widespread. There is no union for performers. - themus.com

We do whish the guys the best!  We'll be cheering right along side you, not for your team, but for you!

 

 

Here's the report that aired on ABC back in March of this year.

 

 

h/t:  themus.com  , gcn.ie

Sean Zevran Responds to NFL's Stand For Your Flag Decision

Gay porn star Sean Zevran has spoken out regarding the NFL's decision to enforce a rule that all players must stand when the National Anthem is being played at each and every single game. It has been taken as extremely controversial and has received a ton of backlash because of it.  

The multiple-award winner (real name Josiah Jennings) took to his social media on Thursday to explain his frustrations regarding their decision in an extremely blunt post.

 

#nfl #takeaknee

A post shared by Sean Zevran (Josiah Jennings) (@seanzevran) on

"F**k your flag. F**k your anthem. F**k your patriotism. The NFL situation represents exactly what I've always called patriotism a disease. When people start holding symbols in higher regard than human life and decency, that's a dark f***ing road. It's a disgusting road. There's nothing noble or honorable about it." 

His followers on social media responded very positively to what he said, with one in particular saying "I couldn't have said it better."

Sean has used his platform to discuss issues similar to this in the past. He spoke out regarding the controversy around the 2018 GayVN Awards, where several fellow stars including Hugh Hunter called them out for having a category called Best Ethnic Scene, which they eventually merged into the overall Best Duo Category. 

 

NFL Requires Players To Stand For The Flag!

NFL Requires Players To Stand For The Flag!


New Policy Enforces ‘Proper Respect’

#OhBoy! Okay, so I’m not one who pays any sort of attention to sports…unless it somehow ties into hot topics. The National Football League (NFL) has made headlines for a variety of reasons over the last few years, including Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who started a trend among Athletes by taking a knee during the National Anthem. Kaepernick taking a knee started a media frenzy regarding respect for the flag and the unfair treatment of colored Americans. The country was seemingly divided over which was the correct decision: Standing for the flag to honor veterans or kneeling to honor one’s freedom from said veterans. It turns out, the NFL players will no longer have to make a choice: They are being forced to stand.


According to Sports Illustrated, NFL owners have voted on a resolution for said National Anthem controversy. All players on the field must stand, but there is an option for players to wait in the locker room until the Anthem in over. If players standing on the field are not ‘respectful’, they will be fined. The new policy reads:

"All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed."


I think a smart decision would’ve been to have added that no matter what – standing, kneeling, sitting, smoking a cigarette, standing like a flamingo, jeez – anything – was still acceptable and deemed respecting the flag during the National Anthem. But, what do I know? I’m anticipating to see how this will play out for the future of NFL games in the upcoming season. Only time will tell.


Are you pleased with the end result of the NFL National Anthem protests?


This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.