On Friday, Cleveland Browns linebacker, Scott Fujita, joined 92.3 The Ticket in Cleveland with Bull and Fox to discuss gay players in the locker room. The issue has become a hot topic following 49ers player Chris Culliver’s comments ahead of the Super Bowl and recent reports that prospects are being asked if they are interested in girls.
During the radio interview, Fujita said the NFL’s homophobia is a misperception:
“I think for far too long there was this perception, or I guess I would call it a misperception, that our locker rooms in the NFL are extremely homophobic and that could not be further from the truth. I was talking to a friend of mine who writes for Outsports a few years ago and at that time it was the perception. I said, ‘That’s not the case at all.’ I would argue that the overwhelming majority would be fine with having a teammate who was gay.”
The player also stressed the support a gay player would have:
“It’s important for closet gay athletes everywhere, not just at the professional level, but more importantly athletes at the younger level in high school and college, to understand they do have support around them and that they can come out and feel comfortable. And honestly, that is going to help save lives.”
Fujita also discussed whether or not it would be a problem to have a gay player in the locker room:
“It would not be an issue at all. Regarding what Ted Carter said and things are said at unfortunate times. I think it’s important not to be quick on somebody using these inappropriate words like ‘faggot’ with that person even being homophobic or discriminatory. A lot of times it’s just a common part of young men’s jargon and that’s the other part of it. We have to take this to the next level to eliminate that kind of discussion.”
Finally, he addressed the issue of coaches asking players and prospects about their sexuality:
“The onus is on the NFL to stand up and make a statement about this and to issue a memo to the clubs and really clearly define what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. Certainly asking someone about their sexuality — first of all it’s against the law. Second of all, it’s absolutely a violation of our CBA and that’s where the NFL the onus is on them to do the right thing.”
To read the complete interview, visit Sports Radio Interviews.