Gays in professional sports. It is definitely a hot button issue for many. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was asked about the possibility of an openly gay player in the NFL in an interview with FOX Sports. He said such a player would face resistance, but it wouldn't be from the players.
"I don't think the locker room would have any problem with it," Arians said. "The problem would be with the fans. I think especially opposing fans. Some of the things that are said are over the top and out of control that I can imagine what some fans would say to an openly gay player."
You know what? He is right on.
Players have all types of teammates in the locker room. When it comes to their work, what matter is football and winning games. Sure, there are potentially awkward moments or jokes taken the wrong way (that happens anyway with all sorts of player differences), but players wouldn't be the problem, especially if the player is one that has already been a teammate.
But fans? We already know fans can be ridiculous. You mix irrational passion, alcohol and then either the fear or the lack of acceptance of the lifestyle, you can only imagine, as Arians said, what things that player would have to endure.
However, at the end of the day, it isn't as if fans have any business knowing who on a team is gay or not. There really is no reason for a player to announce that publicly. It has no bearing on football. Fans have no more need to know if there is a gay player anymore than a fan needs to announce to a player that he or she is gay.
No, players would not be the issue. The fans? Yes...they would be the problem.
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