Major sporting organizations are starting to make small strides to ensure that LGBT people have a place within each sport they are playing. Most recently, Katie Sowers became the first openly gay coach in the National Football League. However, there are still a ton of hurdles to overcome, per a recent interview with one of the NFL's biggest stars: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
In an interview with ESPN, he discusses other hot button topics like losing Super Bowl XLV and his breakup with actress Olivia Munn, but gets very candid when it comes to gays in professional sports. He specifically discusses former lineman and friend Ryan O'Callaghan, who recently came out of the closet
“I’m incredibly proud of [retired Patriots and Chiefs lineman Ryan O’Callaghan]. I know he had a lot of fear about it, and how he would be accepted, and how people would change around him. I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation. And the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer."
However, Aaron still feels like we have leaps and bounds to go when it comes to the overall acceptance of gay players in the NFL.
There’s [still] a fear of job security. If you have a differing opinion, differing sexual orientation, they can get rid of you. So is it better just to be quiet and not ever say anything? And not risk getting cut, with people saying: ‘Well, it’s because you can’t play’?”
Regardless, it is good that such a prominent figure in a professional sporting league seems to have our back and is open to discussing these issues on such a big level. Hopefully others will do the same.
Do you think it will be easier for men to come out in the NFL and other sporting organizations moving forward? Let us know your thoughts.