After ex-San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris was inadvertently outed over a bizarre incident involving his ex-boyfriend, some soy sauce and an obvious anger management problem, his former teammates have said his being gay would not have affected their perception of him.
Harris played for the 49ers from 2003 to 2007, during which his orientation was largely unknown to his fellow players, including tight end Delanie Walker, who played with Harris for two seasons.
“It probably wouldn’t affect me, but other guys might feel different,” Walker, told USA Today. “If that’s what he’s into, that’s what he’s into. I can’t judge a person for how he feels. Things happen. He was a great player. I don’t see him no differently.”
The 49ers are one of the more gay-friendly franchises. They were the first NFL team to produce an “It Gets Better” video while owners John and Denise DeBartolo York make annual rounds to the Castro to woo LGBT fans.
“We all come from various different backgrounds, whatever they are,” said long snapper Brian Jennings. “We’re all there for the common purpose of winning football games. I don’t know if it mattered or if anyone was aware of his sexual orientation.”
Punter Andy Lee said though he didn’t know Harris very well, his sexuality would not have been a factor.
“To each his own. It is what it is. You go about it and do your job and that’s what you’re there for,” Lee said. “Whatever sexual preference you have, that’s your own thing. That’s not anything for me to judge you on.”
Truth. Harris, who pleaded guilty to assault charges in the fall, will have to leave the judging up to San Mateo County Superior Court where he will face trial in April.