The inevitable coming out of at least one currently gay professional football player may occur earlier than anyone anticipated. In a recent interview, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo indicated that a ‘handful’ of guys were contemplating making the leap together. And while he didn’t specify an exact time frame, the 36-year-old did mention that he believed it would be sooner rather than later.
"I think it will happen sooner than you think," Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun. "We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out."
You will recall, late last month Mike Freeman of CBS Sports also reported that at an NFL player was considering coming out at some point in the foreseeable future.
“Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I’m told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months,” he said.
Regardless of when this big announcement comes, it is worth taking a step back and looking at how far this conversation has come since just a few years ago. The discussion has gone from people trying to make the ludicrous assertion that there are no gay players in the NFL, to everyone understanding that there are at least some, and that they will come out when they feel the public will be able to handle their decision like mature adults.
When will that be? If Ayanbadejo is correct, then at some point in the not-so-distant future.