With everyone complaining about how there aren’t very many out still-playing professional sports stars, will you settle for a NFL player forced out the closet against his own will?
That’s what’s happening to Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, whose sexuality was supposedly unveiled on the website MissJia.com by someone claiming to be his ex-boyfriend. The report, originally posted as a blind item, was quickly followed up with the reveal, which includes photo evidence of their relationship, like pictures of Mughelli and a car rental receipt with his name on it. (Predictably, the rumors are not being addressed by the Falcons or Mughelli’s publicist; questions are being directed to his attorneys.)
The same-sex romance supposedly began when Mughelli was a college student in 2001 and, heartbroken over breaking up with his girlfriend, called on his now tell-all former lover. Fast-forward a few years and Mughelli goes pro, and for “professional” reasons needed to end the relationship. About another two years pass, contact is reestablished (yes we are seriously summarizing here), and Mughelli arranges a meet with his sometimes-lover — only to have his attorney slide an envelope across the table, which is his to keep if he’ll leave the NFLer alone. (He refused, and says he never opened the envelope.) “It wasn’t until I got back home, got my thoughts together and tried to figure out why he would be so cruel to me and publicly degrade me. Oh, the beauty of the internet. Jackass. He just signed a deal with the Atlanta Falcons, totaling over $20 million dollars. That is why he tried to write me off. Because of money.” Well, yeah.
So why come forward with this story now? “The reason I have decided to come out with this story is because I have given him more than enough time to right this wrong. To not treat me like a skeleton in his closet, but to speak to me, man to man about the situation, and why he turned our relationship into a would-be scandal. I am the one who told him my being his lover could ruin his career, and I kept our relationship between us because he was right, it wasn’t anyone’s business. He is the one doing this to his life, not me. He is the one living the extravagent life in Atlanta, posing in magazines as one of the most eligible bachelors, dating countless women, who can confirm as I know, he has hate issues with women. I’m sure any woman he has been with up until this point has only been with him for his money, but he doesn’t care because it looks ‘normal.’ He promised he would take care of me, but only when he was a low-profile athlete. The minute he turned high-profile, he let the wrong people get in his ear, people whom he pay to protect his image, yet they made the mistake of ruining him by trying to hush me with money.”
Ouch. That’s some bitterness right there.
Thus far, Mughelli’s self-professed ex-boyfriend hasn’t identified himself, but he will supposedly appear in a video interview with MissJia.com to back up his statements. (UPDATE: The video is here, and the ex-lover reveals himself to be a one Francois Sloan.)
All in all, it’s a shitty situation for all parties involved. Mughelli is outed against his will, and must now deal with the fallout, both professionally and personally. His ex-lover, clearly, remains furious over their parting of ways, and Mughelli’s cutting him out of his life, and it’s wholly unlikely the pair will ever reconcile after this.
We’re just curious to see whether mainstream sports media will hop onto the story and follow the lead of the sports and gay blogs.
UPDATE: Blogs who reported the story from MissJia.com, including this one, have received cease-and-desist letters from Mughelli’s counsel Phaedra Parks, who is attempting to remove any mention of this story from the web. What Ms. Parks does not realize is her client is a public figure, and no actual malice took place. We’ve reached out to Parks for comment and clarification; she has not responded.