It’s been a wild 72 hours on the subject of a “Gay NFL player,” something the general public seems obsessed with. Today, two mainstream outlets have big stories on the topic – one from Mike Freeman at CBS Sports, who writes that there was a gay player in the NFL last season and his teammates and coaches knew, but nobody cared. That’s great news!
The other column is from Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports, who dives right into the bizarre Kerry Rhodes situation, and asks an important question (which we’ll get to in a minute). If you’re unaware of the Kerry Rhodes online kerfuffle, great; if not, I’ll preface it all with these words from Britney Griner, who said it best earlier this week to Sports Illustrated: “Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are.”
Here’s the Kerry Rhodes arc this week:
* Photos began surfacing on the web of the former Jet/Cardinal on vacation with his then-assistant. I didn’t see anyone talking about this at all.
* Rhodes then went to TMZ to deny he was gay. (Here are a lot of photos with Rhodes and famous women he has purportedly dated.) This, of course, was seen by many because TMZ is everywhere. The story instantly became, ‘huh? What’s this about?’
* Then more photos of Rhodes on vacation with said assistant turned up on Bossip.
* At this point, the former assistant apparently went ballistic, calling up Baller Alert to send more photos of the two together, and give a bizarre interview where these words were uttered: “You Play Nintendo, You Play Lottery But You Don’t Play HOLLYWOOD!” The assistant’s name is Russell “Hollywood” Simpson.
Now, to Whitlock’s point – Rhodes turns 31 in August. The Cardinals released him in March. He’s a free agent. Did this “Hollywood” person, clearly seeking to advance his own agenda (ie, reality stardom) nuke any chance Rhodes had of getting one final contract because the NFL might still be deathly afraid of having a gay football player?