NFL Shares Campaign Ahead of National Coming Out Day to Encourage Players
On October 9, the National Football League took to YouTube to share a 30-second public service announcement in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11. The PSA is meant to encourage athletes who are still active LGBTQ members in the league to come out.
The video began with former NFL standouts, Ryan O’Callaghan, Jeff Rohrer, free agent R.K. Russell, and Wade Davis, saying: “To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we.” O’Callaghan came out as gay in 2017.
Rohrer came out as gay in 2019 and currently lives under the same roof with his partner, Josh, whom he married in 2018, his ex-wife, and their children. Russell came out in 2019 and Davis came out as gay in 2012.
The video continues as current, straight players, like Rob Gronkowski, DeAndre Hopkins, Jarvis Landry, and so many others, expressed their support for the LGBTQ community. “We support you. It takes all of us, and you deserve to be all you,” they exclaimed.
According to Outsports.com, there are 14 former NFL players who have come out as gay or bisexual. In addition to the PSA, NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent also wrote an op-ed in support of the athletes still active in the NFL who are considering coming out.
“Anyone in the player community who may be considering coming out, know this. Just as I have done with family members and close friends, I am committed to serving as a conduit to help you through that journey — either myself, in collaboration with my teammates at the league office, or through the many organizations with whom we partner on LGBTQ+ issues.”
Vincent also revealed that “there has never been a single active player that has come out.” “We have no way of knowing if an active NFL player would choose to come out, or what they might experience,” Vincent continued. “What I do know is that I am committed to celebrate, support, and welcome them.”
In addition to their show of support on October 11, the NFL will also wear purple during Thursday Night Football, October 15, in celebration of Spirit Day, which is a day dedicated to the support of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with the LGBTQ community.
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