davis-tuaolo-klemko-story

Gay in the NFL

Two former players describe the struggle of growing up closeted in the world of football

By
Robert Klemko
· More from Robert·

From now until the opening of training camps, The MMQB will run a series of our Greatest Hits from the site’s first year. From July 2013, Robert Klemko profiles Esera Tuaolo and Wade Davis, openly gay ex-players who were in the closet during their time in the NFL…

One day in June, Esera Tuaolo was sorting through boxes of old papers when he discovered a handwritten letter he penned in high school, addressed to his future self. As part of a senior retreat taken by the class of 1986 at Don Antonio Lugo High in Chino, Calif., the exercise was meant to get students thinking about career goals. But Tuaolo’s read like a plea for mercy: “I hope your life is better than what it is today, and that you will be happy.”

Poring over the words as he stood in the garage of his Minneapolis home, the 45-year-old former NFL nosetackle was brought to tears. A second-round pick out of Oregon State in 1991, Tuaolo played nine seasons for the Vikings, Packers, Jaguars, Falcons and Panthers. He kept his homosexuality a secret during his career, and even contemplated suicide. When he came out in 2002, two years after retiring from pro football and 16 years after writing that letter, Tuaolo (pictured top right) finally found the happiness his younger self had been so desperate for. “Having to hide who I was and knowing I would have to hide for a long time, [the letter] wasn’t, ‘I want to be successful,’ ” he says. “It was just, ‘I want to be happy.’ And I am.”

No gay man has ever come out publicly while active in the NFL, but four are known to have done so on their own terms after leaving the game: Tuaolo, David Kopay, Roy Simmons and Wade Davis. The MMQB asked two of these men, Tuaolo and Davis, to write letters to their past selves, sharing what they experienced at various life stages and what they wished they had known along the way.

***

Tuaolo at 13
When you were six, your friends terrorized a classmate because he liked to play with his sisters’ dolls. They chased him, spit on him and called him a Mahu, Samoan for “faggot.” Your friends had no idea you preferred dolls, too, and you’ve been closeted ever since. You’re always going to hear that word, and the frustration will grow. But next year you’ll discover an outlet: high school football. Upside: You get to hit people! Downside: With success, comes scrutiny.

Davis at 15
First of all, you’re gay. You can’t stop staring at that boy in 10th-grade gym class, and no amount of straight pornography is going to make you stop thinking about him. Dude, you’re focusing on the guy in the videos! Just face it: You’re gay. Now you’re trying to figure out how to hide it, because you’re not ready to come out—and that’s OK. Problem is, you think being a class clown somehow makes you more masculine. It doesn’t. You just look stupid.

You’d like to come out, but there will be a steep price. You’ll never be a blue-chip prospect, and you’ll never play for the Packers or the Vikings. Oregon State won’t offer a scholarship to the gay nosetackle, no matter how big he is.

Tuaolo at 16
You’d like to come out, but there will be a steep price. You’ll never be a blue-chip prospect, and you’ll never play for the Packers or the Vikings. Oregon State won’t offer a scholarship to the gay nosetackle, no matter how big he is. You have to find someone to talk to, someone you can trust. Guess what: Guidance counselors can’t discuss the things you share unless they feel your mother needs to know. Is it worth the risk? Probably not.

(Courtesy of Wade Davis)
(Courtesy of Wade Davis)

Davis at 17
You’ve become a bully because you want to appear masculine, and you hope to focus the collective attention on someone else. It’s cruel. It’s not who you are. You’ll challenge freshmen to perform blindfolded sit-ups, pinning their shoulders down until a teammate’s bare ass is waving in front of them, then letting go of his shoulders as he does the sit-up. It’s hilarious at the time, but the memory will make you cringe when you grow up. You really don’t need to harass people to seem straight. Just be yourself—to an extent.

Tuaolo at 17
The preacher at your Pentecostal church says the Bible condemns homosexuality. Ignore him. In that very same book, there’s an important passage. The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians tells you to “put no confidence in the flesh,” put your trust in God. He made you this way, and he doesn’t make mistakes. Religion will become both a comfort and a cover. You’ll date girls and tell them you’re saving it for marriage. You’ll feel bad, but it’s what you have to do to survive.

Davis at 19
Now that you’re in college, there’s a new target for your abuse: women. They’re “bitches” and “hos” now. You go to strip clubs and have one-night stands because that’s what you think straight guys do. It’s not. Objectifying women actually makes you less of a man. That girl you’ve been dating for a year thinks there’s a future in you, and you know there isn’t. Trust me: Who you are, who you really are, is OK. You’re a well-liked guy—team captain as a junior at Weber State—and your friends love you. They don’t love you because they think you’re a heterosexual. They love you because you’re a good person.

Tuaolo at 20
You’ll have one of many bad days during your junior year. You’ll go to a teammate’s apartment to pick up a school assignment. He’ll give you a hug, and it will seem like he wants to kiss. It’s great at first, but it’s over in a heartbeat. He’ll push away and say, “I’m not that way.” It’s true: He’s married with kids today. Man, it would’ve been sweet to walk with him into the locker room, hand in hand, like, “Hey guys, by the way, we’re dating.” But that’s not happening. Instead, you’ll spend the night wondering if he’s going to out you in the morning. With one mistake, you’ve put the power over your life in his hands. I’ll save you some stress: Don’t kiss him.

Right now, you think there’s nobody who’s experiencing life the way you are, but there are literally thousands of people who are going through the exact same thing.

Davis at 21
Here’s a tip, Wade. Instead of dating girls and cheating on them, go find a gay guy. It’s Utah, so it’s going to be hard, but they’re out there. You don’t have to hook up with him. Just have a conversation. Ask him what his life is like. Ask him what it feels like to kiss another man. Right now, you think there’s nobody who’s experiencing life the way you are, but there are literally thousands of people who are going through the exact same thing.

Tuaolo at 21
You’ll return to Oregon State for your final season to see everyone in the locker room crowded around what you think is the team poster. Only it’s not the team—it’s just a picture of you. You’re upset, you’re angry, and you’re feeling like you’re going to have another anxiety attack. Don’t panic! At the end of the day, no one outs you. But would it be so bad if they did? You’re one of the best players on the team and this will make you better. Can you imagine playing without stress, without blackouts? You don’t have to have a confidant; just be true to yourself. If being true to yourself is coming out, then come out. Whatever the consequences are, you’ll get the full support from the LGBT nation.

Davis at 23
You didn’t make the Titans as an undrafted free agent. That’s OK. The team you’re about to join—NFL Europe’s Berlin Thunder—is one of the best and tightest you’ll ever play for. You’ll win a championship, and you’ll spend countless hours with these guys off the field just hanging out. Some nights you’ll sit in a hotel hallway until five in the morning, swapping college stories and talking s—. This is the time. All you have to say is, “Hey guys, I have something really tough to tell you.” The Berlin Thunder are not going to send you home for that. If you’re ever going to be brave enough, these are the guys you’re going to do it with.

Esera Tuaolo on the Packers. (Vernon Biever/WireImage.com)
Esera Tuaolo on the Packers. (Vernon Biever/WireImage.com)

Tuaolo at 24
Newsflash: There are enormous gay communities all over the country, even in the cities you’ll visit as a second-round pick of the Packers in ’91. But you know you can’t go. At 6-2, 280 pounds, you’re just too recognizable. You think you’ll have some freedom when you vacation without teammates to Argentina, but the day you check in, you see a billboard advertising a brand of camera. In the picture? Your Packers teammate, Matt Brock, throwing people around. Even in South America you can’t escape the reach of the NFL.

Davis at 24
You just broke up with your boyfriend and you’ve landed in Barcelona, and, Oh my God, there are shirtless, attractive gay men everywhere. It’s your worst fear. You want to go out to a gay club, but you’re popular on the team and it’s hard to break away from the herd. DO IT. Go out and have those conversations you wanted to have in college. Go out to a gay club. Do all those things that a 24-year-old guy who doesn’t have a partner does. You’re not going to be able to focus on football anyway, so enjoy your youth.

Tuaolo at 25
You thought about killing yourself last year. You even forced open the window in your 15th-story apartment, ready to end the depression and the pain you’ve been treating with alcohol and painkillers. But you didn’t do it. You thought about your mother, alone in Hawaii, and the life you can give her with an NFL career. Green Bay didn’t work out, but there’s a lot of football left to play. You’ll land in Minnesota, Jacksonville, Atlanta and Carolina before it’s all over. Guess what: Minnesota is the place to come out. What an amazing player you’ll be, not having to wake up every day hoping nobody finds out. Wake up and free that six-year-old boy who shut himself in the closet.

Davis at 26
You don’t know it yet, but this is the end. This is your last training camp in the NFL, with the Redskins in 2003, and you’ll never play in another game. You’re on the fringe of the roster, and while you’re supposed to be getting better with film study, you’re watching yourself and thinking, Wow, I run gay, or, I’m standing gay, or, Oh my God, I look like such a girl.

This summer you could become the first active player to come out, but if you do, you’ll probably say something stupid and homophobic because you have so much learning to do. You’d f— it up for a lot of people. The first person who comes out in the NFL has to be ready to have the conversation about what it means to be gay in sports.

It all gets better from here. You’re afraid you’re going to have to stay in the closet your whole life, but you won’t. You’ll live in Harlem and have a partner for nearly a decade. You’re going to be able to do amazing work that affects youth and adults, straight and gay. For now, take a step back and enjoy the fact that you’re playing on the biggest stage on earth doing what you wanted to do. Enjoy that for a second, and enjoy everything else later.

***

Wade Davis, 35, was cut by the Redskins in training camp and retired in 2003 because of a leg injury. He came out nine years later in media interviews. He says there are numerous NFL players who are semi-open about their sexuality, allowing select teammates to know they’re gay. Davis believes one of the worst things that’s happened to LGBT acceptance in the NFL was former Ravens linebacker and gay rights activist Brendon Ayanbadejo telling media organizations that several players are considering coming out together in solidarity. Says Davis: “I told Brendon this: If I had heard that, I would’ve sprinted back into the closet. The last thing anyone in that position needs is more pressure.” The assistant director of Job Readiness and Academic Enrichment at the Hetrick-Martin institute in New York, Davis is the co-founder of the You Belong initiative, an LGBTQ and straight ally youth sports and leadership program.

Esera Tuaolo retired in 1999 after tearing a hamstring with the Panthers. He came out in 2002 and four years later released an autobiography: Alone in the Trenches: My Life As a Gay Man in the NFL. He met a man named Mitchell Wherley in 1997 at a club in Minnesota, and they adopted twins in 2000. Tuaolo was arrested for domestic violence in 2010 against a boyfriend he met after he and Mitchell had separated. Charges were eventually dropped—Tuaolo explains the arrest as an “overblown misunderstanding”—but he sank into depression when he started losing gigs as a public speaker. Still in Minnesota, Tuaolo is happily dating again and shares responsibility for the twins with his ex. He travels the country speaking about homophobia in sports and anti-bullying.

Nearly three months after former Washington Wizards center Jason Collins became the NBA’s first active player to say he’s gay, The MMQB asked Tuaolo and Wade if they would feel comfortable being open about their sexuality in today’s NFL. They responded by writing open letters to gay players in the league.

Davis
Find someone in your personal life, a friend or a family member, whom you can confide in and lean on. There’s going to be much more positive reaction than negative should you come out. If possible, find a teammate or two who will support you during the process. Make sure those guys are with you when you tell the team. Reach out to the position coach or head coach first, so it’s framed in such a way that you’re not seen as trying to create a distraction. This is who you are, and people don’t know how exhausting it is to be in the closet. This can bring you and your teammates together, and you’ll start playing better. I wasn’t ready to do it when I played—I had too much hate to unlearn. I feel like I could have come out in today’s NFL, now that we’re having some of the conversations about what it means to be a gay athlete. I would have reached out to Jason Collins and asked him how his life changed. I would have realized I wasn’t the only one, and I would have seen all of the support for gay athletes. That would have given me more strength and confidence.

Tuaolo
Come out. With the support from the community, the LGBT organizations, it would be an amazing experience to take that step. It would make you so much more complete­—and definitely a better athlete. You wouldn’t be worrying about the stress. You’d be worried about yourself and making sure you’re happy. That’s more important than football. It’s the most important thing.

64 comments
slicklee66
slicklee66

Can't we all just get along? The bottom line God is a forgiving God, being a homosexual is no worse a sin than murder and we know God forgave a murder. I have a cousin who is gay, I was the one who broke the news to his mom and grandma. Of course they didn't believe me at first. After a bunch of lying he finally told the truth and he's been happy ever since, that was 22years ago and he's been with his partner now for about 8-9 years!

SamJudie
SamJudie

'Come Out'?  Groan.......how very sad for the Millions of Gays living on this Planet?  I tried Suicide twice while in the Service as I prayed every night that GOD would make me straight....but of course......GOD MADE ME GAY!  And God does NOT make mistakes!  My favorite Quote is by Charles Pierce - It's better to be black than gay because when you're black you don't have to tell your mother. - Check Out our new website GGGAAAYYY DOT COM - http://www.GGGAAAYYY.com 

AmyAdams
AmyAdams

I may be ignorant in my history here by I am pretty sure that the first athlete to "come out" was Martina Navratilova.  Jason Collins may be the first male athlete to "come out" but I'm sure Martina was the first athlete.  I hope I get to see the day where it doesn't matter if one is gay or not, they just get to play their sport.  It is a shame one has to hide who they are for fear of others.  We should rejoice in diversity as that is what our world is made of; all of us different, in one form or another.  It is quite remarkable and enjoyable to share our differences; it would be quite a boring place to live if we were all the same!

DannyCarrao
DannyCarrao

SO done with articles about homosexuals and gay rights. I don't give a crap what you do in your bedroom - I don't want to hear about it if you're straight OR gay. When I watch football, I care about football, NOT your partner (male or female). And no, I didn't read this article, but I'm sure I can sum it up - "I was afraid to come out, so I didn't. But I wish I had, and someone will soon. Isn't this all inspiring?"

RichardJames
RichardJames

Please listen to yourselves. We are all human beings, whether fervently religious or not, and I would expect your god to respect that. I feel sad for any NFL player that had to delay coming out until after they retired . i am a homosexual man and I do not feel threatened by homosexuals, in fact I feel that our society would be significantly diminished without them. Justin Fashanu, a top flight soccer player in my country of England, came out as gay and sadly this lead to his suicide: I would hope that no-one, christian, moslem or otherwise would wish that upon another person because of their sexuality. I hope sincerely that an active NFL player will come out although I sincerely doubt it.

RichardJames
RichardJames

Hi there. First off - enjoying the new site so far: I respect Peter and all he associated with. With regards to this article I feel so sad for the players that feel they could not come out until after they had left het NFL and therefore also the players that are in the system now and feel trapped.

Although some players in. Chris Kluwe have expressed thier support for sexual equality, I feel that this is extremely unlikely even now . I hope I am wrong in this assertion, however recnt posts from

MichaelEarlMcQueen
MichaelEarlMcQueen

No 1 on earth will ever make me believe being Gay is a good thing to be. bible says not to lay down with same sex. Society is Horrible teaching our kids of today thats its okay to be gay when its not. its a perverted thing to be. & how dare anyone say you are born gay when god gives you life & says not to be gay. god does not contradict himself. id hate to be a Strait NFL player & know there are gay team mates in the same locker room that has seen me nude or mostly nude & MIGHT be checking me out.

Ernie3
Ernie3

There is so much wrong with this article. Obey the scripture you like and ignore the ones you disagree with. If i told my parents i will only follow the rules i agree with. I would not see the light of day. Live by your feelings is the worst thing you could tell anyone. I dont feel like working this month. I shouldnt lose my job, right? I was just living by feelings.

mystafugee
mystafugee

These letters were really powerful, whether you're gay, straight, or whatever, I think it would be nice to send letters to our younger selves.  Help us come to terms or reflect on difficult times.  

AB.JITSU
AB.JITSU

if it doesnt bother people anymore then why is this even a story ?

ChaseWalsh3
ChaseWalsh3

Kerry Rhodes will be the first active player to come out.  The writing is on the wall with him.

romoore99
romoore99

To the players who are gay and are masking their interests out of fear over their careers:  I think you are living in a wonderful time.  You'll be okay.  America no longer cares what you do in the privacy of your bedroom.  We just want the best players on the field.  Maybe I'm naive, but I think it's more of a shame to have to live a lie then worrying about what others think of you.  For Pete's sake, Americans don't even care if you murdered someone.  If you're the best all-around defense player, you're staying on the team - lol.

freder85ico
freder85ico

Amazing article.  Heartfelt and inspiring!

DjangoZ
DjangoZ

Excellent piece! The best so far on the new site. 

The letters to their younger selves really got me. I may not be gay, but I remember what it was like to be scared as a kid about other things and I can imagine how much tougher it is to be young, scared and gay. 

Glad we're changing the world so that is less of a concern in the future...but still so much work to do. Kudos to Tuaolo and Davis for taking the baton and moving things forward.

msannomalley
msannomalley

I remember when Esera Tuaolo was a Packer.  As a life-long Packer fan, I'm proud to have had him on our team and wearing the green and gold.  I hope that he can be an inspiration to young people struggling with their sexuality, especially young men and boys, because, even though I've never had that struggle as a straight woman, I've seen others struggle with it and I can appreciate how difficult that is.  I want to thank both for opening up here and sharing your stories.

gnosisNU
gnosisNU

Thank you for this article and thanks to these men for being brave. I hope someday soon an active NFL player can be brave too.

BarbaraAJohnson
BarbaraAJohnson

@bamma1934  I feel so bad for a society where children have to grow up so unhappy because they are not accepted  for who and what they are. I believe that with honest stories like this one, more understanding and acceptance will come. I hope so. We are all children of the Almighty. 

Big Ed
Big Ed

Thank you to both men for opening up your lives. Great piece!

Alamode
Alamode

Thought this was something new and newsworthy but no it's something old.  Wish I hadn't given it a click.  Maybe this is one of those "great stories" Peter King keeps talking about. Can't believe Peter King went out and pimped this on Twitter.  Tired of human disinterest stories.  What next photos of kittens and puppies, great summer recipes? 

 At a time when camps are opening and fantasy football is cranking up,  we get this as the banner headline. Like I said I thought it was news not a puff piece. It may be great writing but I've got a lot of that in my library.  What I don't have there is breaking football news and things that get me inside how the league works; homophobia in the NFL may be real but it's also "old hat". 

tundey
tundey

@DannyCarrao How can you hope to make an intelligent contribution without reading the article? You don't have to read the article but if you must comment, do us all a favor, read the article first. Makes you sound like less of a douchebag.

RichardJames
RichardJames

Oops! I meant to say I am heterosexual. I hope that wasn't a Freudian slip.

cascadiapack
cascadiapack

@MichaelEarlMcQueen the bible says, the bible says.....the bible says a lot of things.  The bible seems just fine with slavery, among other things.

abigmo
abigmo

@MichaelEarlMcQueen Your mother is gay and took one for the team to stay in God's favor. Now, doesn't that make sense? Of course not, yet you think that's what gay people should do. Just be 'normal'. Really? Is straight sex somehow cleaner, sanctified, blessed? NO! Sex is sex.

tundey
tundey

@MichaelEarlMcQueen Why would you hate to a be "strait" man being checked out by a gay man? Are you insecure in your sexuality? If you are already comfortable showering with other naked men, what do you care what any of them is thinking?

JohnSmith22
JohnSmith22

@MichaelEarlMcQueen Your views are yours - while I certainly don't agree with them, you are entitled to think what you want. Just by way of clarification though, and this is coming from a gay man who has been in many locker rooms filled with straight men, the overwhelming odds are that they are NOT checking you out. They are there for the same reasons as you, changing and showering.  Just thought you should know that.  On the off chance they are 'checking you out', i imagine you are proud of the way you look, so just assume its a compliment. If you look good, you should feel good that anyone wants to look at you. 

StoJa9
StoJa9

@MichaelEarlMcQueen The bible says a lot of stupid shit. It was written 2,000 years ago by white male landowners who had slaves, no qualms about incest, and believed selling your daughter for a goat was a good thing.

abigmo
abigmo

@Ernie3 Your mother is gay and took one for the team to stay in God's favor. Now, doesn't that make sense? Of course not, yet you think that's what gay people should do. Just be 'normal'. Really? Is the straight sexual act somehow cleaner, sanctified, blessed? NO! Sex is sex.

tundey
tundey

@Ernie3 Why do you fake ass Christians assume everyone is a christian and must follow the Bible as interpreted by you? You know the one great thing Jesus asked that you fake ass Christians never do? It's loving one another regardless of faults. How about you practice love and leave the judging to "he who is without sin"? 

willkepper
willkepper

@Ernie3 Well, the bible tells us to stone to death adulterers and to keep certain tribes for slaves. I'd say you need to ignore parts of it.

Phroggo
Phroggo

@AB.JITSU 

It's a story because so many people believe sexuality is a choice.  That people choose to be homosexual and I don't see how that can be true, because I cannot remember ever coming to some fork in the road during puberty and choosing to be heterosexual rather than homosexual.  Who I was, and what I was as far as sexual orientation, was already in me.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@romoore99 Americans don't care what you do in your bedroom?  That might be true for most but unfortunately that message hasn't gotten across to a certain political party.  

tundey
tundey

@Alamode In defense of @Alamode , these sites change headlines often and sometimes use multiple headlines to "pimp" the same story. However, as has been mentioned by others, the aim of MMQB isn't to break news. It's to give human interest stories like this that are not usually covered by the "breaking news" sites. Stories like what it feels like to be cut, how to stick around the NFL, 10 things random NFL players think etc. 

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

@Alamode I think you're just mad that anyone's writing about gay players.  It was pretty clear what this story was about.  It was an interesting take on the topic to get it from the actual players' perspectives. 

Richboro11
Richboro11

@Alamode  I suppose you could just not read it.  I think the title of the article told you what it was going to be about -- no need to waste a precious click.

JoePhenorkee
JoePhenorkee

@StoJa9 @MichaelEarlMcQueen You are so sure it was written by white males? And every race had slaves and sold their family members for things. Many places they still do exactly that.

Ernie3
Ernie3

@tundey @Ernie3 Your right he does command us to love one another.  Sharing God's truths from the Bible is not judging nor unloving.  With your thought process you could not voice that murder,rape, or child abuse is wrong because that would be judging and unloving.  I am sinful and that is why I need Jesus. 

Ernie3
Ernie3

@willkepper@Ernie3The bible does not tell us but the Israelites to follow these laws.  When Jesus came he gave us a new covenant.   When you lived with your parents they gave you rules you needed to follow.  When you moved out you no longer needed to follow them.  The same thing applies to these rules given in the old testament they were needed for a time but when Jesus came he gave us a new covienant to follow. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength.  Love your your neighbor as yourself.  We cannot love God the way he requires if we condone sin.  

Ernie3
Ernie3

@Phroggo @AB.JITSU Is it a choice for the pedophile to be attracted to children.   It is their choice to act on their attractions.   If i told my wife I have to cheat on her because I am attracted to other woman then that would be a problem.  We all have choices how to act on our sexuality.

AB.JITSU
AB.JITSU

what I'm trying to say is who gives a ish.

romoore99
romoore99

@mystafugee:  I did post with a caveat of my own naiveness.  However, you seem to concur given your statement that 'most' find my opinion true.  I think this is why my point of view ultimately holds weight.  When 'most' people see things a certain way, their will usually perseveres.  I hope this would be the case for any gay man living a life of secrecy and it's causing him grief.  I think we're fortunate to be living in a time when our society says, 'we don't give two turds.  F%# what adult you want consensually.'       

Alamode
Alamode

@HoppinBill @Alamode   Why would I be angry about that?  I think you are just looking for haters and will tag someone with it simply because they criticize the content of the article.  I don't like puff piece human interest stories and I don't make exceptions just because it's for a good cause.

Alamode
Alamode

@Richboro11 @Alamode As I said above I thought it was breaking news about a current player.  I got baited by the headline.

Ernie3
Ernie3

@willkepperThe bible does not tell us but the Israelites to follow these laws.  When Jesus came he gave us a new covenant.   When you lived with your parents they gave you rules you needed to follow.  When you moved out you no longer needed to follow them.  The same thing applies to these rules given in the old testament they were needed for a time but when Jesus came he gave us new rules to follow.

Ernie3
Ernie3

@StoJa9 @willkepper @Ernie3 Your right we could ignore Gods word but that would have eternal consequences. If I ignore the laws of America I could end up in prison for the rest of my life.

StoJa9
StoJa9

@AB.JITSU Then why did you read it? Just so you could have something to bitch about?

RobertKlemko
RobertKlemko

@AB.JITSU Judging from all the positive feedback here and across social media... somebody.

scp1957
scp1957

@mystafugee @romoore99 About those relative few...

In my experience, a LOT of them were molested by older guys, probably during the tween years. Uncertain boys, easily culled from the herd, more likely than not because of their relationship (or lack thereof) with their father.

For many men, shame morphs into anger.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@romoore99 I totally agree with you, just musing about that shrinking segment of society that still holds out.

StoJa9
StoJa9

@Alamode Man, you must just be a sheer fucking joy to be around. Has anyone been near you for longer then 5 minutes without wanting to push you in front of a bus?

thehouseofho
thehouseofho

@Alamode @Jnash23 @Richboro11 I'm pretty sure King's article, Dawn of a New Day, states this site is not in the business of breaking news, but to tell stories about life in and around football. It's good writing, it's good writing about the lives of two former football players, and it fits the purpose of this site. You shouldn't expect breaking news when the main purpose of this site is telling stories.

Alamode
Alamode

@Jnash23 @Alamode @Richboro11 No the original post up at the top of the site did not mention "former players" .  The lead-in only pops up now that it has been moved of the very top of the page.  Thanks for calling me a fool. Trendy Hipster.

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Alamode @Jnash23 @Richboro11 and then you have the clear as day Sub-Headline: 'Two former players describe the struggle of growing up closeted in the world of football.' You're a fool if you didn't know what you were going to read about. 

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Alamode @Richboro11 baited by a headline that says 'TWO FORMER' players? smh.  Solid article here, just a matter of time before a current player does it.

cascadiapack
cascadiapack

@Ernie3 @willkepper ummm....you realize the bible has been translated and re-translated over and over again for centuries, right?  Believe what you want to believe, it's your right....but please don't act like it's scientific fact.

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