In 2003, I was a redshirt freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that decided to come out in high school. But I wasn't sure if I could handle being the first openly gay Division I college football player.
It is time that we provide our young LGBTQ athletes with important and long-lasting leadership training from experts in the field. A gym free of anti-gay slurs. A locker room without homophobia. A court where LGBT athletes can just play the sport they love.
I'm a ballplayer. I'm a pro. I've been in an NBA training camp and have competed in some of the top leagues overseas. Based on these experiences, do I think an openly gay competitor would be accepted in the sports world?
I am currently researching the history of LGBT athletes on television for a study that is due out this fall, but one doesn't need a content analysis to see that an overwhelming majority of gay athletes depicted in entertainment media are white.
He will inspire millions. His inbox will be flooded with emails, messages and tweets from kids who have been bullied and high school quarterbacks scared to tell their parents. He will earn a lifetime of rewards and joy from forever making the world a better place. And now is the time.
In two special episodes of Necessary Roughness, one of our characters deals with the difficult personal decision to come out. We haven't seen this happen in the NFL in real life, but we hope our portrayal will foster dialogue about acceptance and tolerance.