NFL Player: Sports and Religion 'Last Two Closets in America'

NFL Player: Sports and Religion 'Last Two Closets in America'

According to NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, a self-described “ally” of gays and lesbians, there are two more frontiers for the gay movement to cross before they reach their goals: sports and religious organizations. 

Asked by Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation, whether Jason Collins’ revelation that he is gay was the last frontier for “gay acceptance and equality,” Ayanbadejo pontificated:

No, I still think we have a ways to go. The religious community, we respect religion, and we want people to have their religion and also not change religions, but we want people to be accepting of everybody. So I think the religious community and the sports community, between the two, I think those are two of the last closets in America, two of the last places where people are accepted. 

Schieffer asked Esera Tuaolo, a former NFL player who revealed in a book he authored in 2006 that he was a homosexual, if he agreed with Ayanbadejo. Tuaolo replied that the gay movement had “taken some baby steps forward” but they still had to go further. 

“So we have a lot to work on, like Brendon said, you know, with religion and sports and the NFL and the four major sports. I think those are the two last closets that we need to tackle,” Tuaolo said.