With the NFL season looming and the Jaguars starting to figure out who will and will not be on their roster come September 12th when they play host to the Denver Broncos, will there ever be a time when homosexuality in NFL locker rooms will be accepted just as the ethnic and racial barriers have been crossed in the past? Many prominent NFL players feel that the league is just not ready. Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL player, made statements recently that seemed to really point out to the public that the NFL is very similar to the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
The military’s policy has been in full force since 1993 and it has caused the end of many military careers only due to their sexual preference. The NFL does not dismiss players due to their sexual preference, but there does seem to be unwritten policy where homosexual players should not come out in the open with their lifestyle choices. Wiley feels it would be most difficult for the player to overcome as those other players in the locker room would have a difficult time accepting and understanding.
It does not matter how the public wants to spin this, approximately 5% of the male population is considered homosexual or bisexual. With that approximation, one out of every 20 males is probably either homosexual or bisexual. Since there 53 players per active NFL roster and there are 32 NFL teams, it adds up to 1696 active players on rosters, and this is not even including additional players on scout teams, signed for injuries, etc. If you consider NFL players no different than the general public, then out of those nearly 1700 players, there should be approximately 85 homosexual players in the NFL at the current time. With that many individuals in the organization it is impossible to believe that none are homosexual.
When retired NFL player Esera Tuaolo revealed he was homosexual, it was after he was retired. I agree with Wiley that the initial period when players revealed that they were homosexuality will be extremely difficult and stressful for both the player and his teammates, but it is only a matter of time until we have a Jacksonville Jaguar who has the courage and convictions to reveal that they are a homosexual without concern of other players’ biases and opinions. No matter what your occupation, all individuals should be allowed the freedoms to live their own lives.
Links you may find interesting: