Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, now playing with the Cleveland Browns, has been doing something extraordinary for a professional football player in the prime of his career: he has been speaking out for LGBT equality.
Straight allies are critical to the LGBT equal rights movement and when I talked to Scott recently, I wondered what made him decide to be an advocate.
“I have a unique family history,” he explained. “My parents went through internment camps during World War II and there experience has taught me to stand up for the rights of everybody – equality across the board regardless of what the issue is. This issue has come alive has come alive in the last couple of years and it’s been important to me because equality to me is the most important thing.”
There has never been an NFL player to be openly gay during his career.
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“It’ll happen one day,” Scott said. “Whether everybody is ready for it at this point I don’t know to be honest with you. But I think by and large, NFL locker rooms are a lot more tolerant than they get credit for. These issues are discussed.”
He thinks reporters covering the sport could push the topic out into the open: “I think the reality is, your every day beat writer who get paid to ask football questions, don’t get paid to ask issue-type questions, political-related questions, hot topic-type questions. Until they start doing that, it’s not going to be talked out on a broad field like I think we’d like it to be.”