A US sports journalist has claimed he's spoken to two high profile gay NFL players who say they would only go public about their sexuality if the media didn't make a big deal out of it.
Denver-based American Football pundit Benjamin Allbright claims that the players are "mostly" out to their "supportive" teammates, but that fear of the public and media reaction keeps them in the closet.
He explained that the two gay NFL players he spoke to would be happy to come out if they thought that the "media wouldn't make it a thing".
There are currently no openly gay players in the 'Big Four' US sports leagues of football, baseball, hockey and basketball, but former players like the retired NBA star Jason Collins and Candian League footballer Michael Sam - who was briefly drafted into the NFL before being dropped last year - have attracted huge media attention since publicly coming out.
Responding to the claims, Outsports
commentator Jim Buzinski has said that if true, the comments are "bullshit", adding: "Yes, the initial attention would be huge but it would die down fairly quickly, as history has shown."
Buzinski continued: "These anonymous NFL players should strongly consider coming out since it would help countless young gay athletes see that it is possible to be gay and play their favorite sport. Collins, Sam and Rogers have become role models to LGBT athlete everywhere and lives have been saved."
He went on: "The good they would do would far outweigh the media "making it a thing." After all, this report says these guys want to come out. The media should not be used as a shield by someone who would be in position to come out positively and make a difference."
Earlier this year, Michael Sam claimed that despite several players approaching him
and telling him they’re gay, none “have the courage” to come out publicly.
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