According to CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman:
Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I’m told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months — and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.
I’m told this player feels the time is now for someone to take this step — despite homophobic remarks from San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver and the controversy arising recently at the Indianapolis Scouting combine, when prospects were asked questions about their sexuality.
This player’s true concern, I’m told, is not the reaction inside an NFL locker room but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out. My sources will not say who this alleged player is.
There has never been an active openly gay player in a major American team sport, but the information I’ve gathered on the player in question comes from several current and former players.
“I honestly think the players of the NFL have been ready for an openly gay player for quite some time now,” said Scott Fujita, a free agent linebacker who recently penned a letter in support of gay marriage for The New York Times. “Trust me, the coming out of a player would create much bigger waves outside the locker room than inside. The way I’ve seen the conversation around LGBT issues evolve, especially in the past few years, has been encouraging. Guys are more accepting than they used to be. Even those who raise personal objections to homosexuality, some of whom are good friends of mine, would still be able to coexist and accept a gay teammate.”
Fujita was among the supporters of a marriage equality brief to the Supreme Court started by NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. Should the Supreme Court overturn Prop 8, Freeman said it would “send yet another signal to closeted gay NFL players that the environment is changing for the better.”