ESPN’s Gutierrez: NFL Asking Players if They Like Men Is Keeping Them in the Closet

Thursday on ESPN’s “Highly Questionable,” Israel Gutierrez responded to running back prospect Derrius Guice’s claim he was asked if liked men in an interview with an unnamed team at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gutierrez, who came out as gay in 2015, argued that NFL teams asking such questions is harmful and can keep people in the closet.

“It’s people like this who are keeping 12 and 15 and 17-year-old kids, mostly boys who are interested in sports, in the closet for longer. It’s people like this who are pressing the question or pressing the point of ‘Gay is soft’ and ‘Gay is not welcome’ and ‘Gay is not strong-minded,’ and those are keeping people in the closet for longer. There are kids out there having to make this decision between choosing a career in sports and being their true selves. Imagine how difficult that decision is, imagine how unfair it is for everybody. It kept me in the closet until I was 31 while I was pursuing my career in sports,” Gutierrez explained.

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