Football Player Brad Thorson Comes Out, Hopes To Help Other Closeted Athletes

10502120_10152276734408253_2438583253419773537_nI’ve been told many times that the process of coming out is cathartic. Yet since coming to terms with my sexuality, I found it arduous and unnecessary. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. So today, I’m putting it in writing and not looking back.

I’m gay.

I’m also an athlete. For years, I struggled to unite these two identities in my own mind. Not until after my professional athletic career came to an end did I allow myself to understand my sexuality. Now, three years later, I’m finally ready to share that with people.

If not for the strength of athletes like Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and Brian Sims, I would likely still be struggling with my own cognitive dissonance. Each of their stories reinforced the truth that there is nothing wrong with being a competitive athlete and gay. Just as their stories helped me come to understand and accept myself, I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I hope to help someone else to understand his or her identity as a gay athlete.

Brad Thorson, former college and NFL footballer who briefly played with the Arizona Cardinals, coming out of the closet via a note he posted on his blog July 4, appropriately

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  • Mezaien

    Babe, you are great and will in lighting many others! just tell them all to suck eggs. Be HOMO have a life and enjoy it.

  • Alton

    How nice for him. Sincerely. But how much nicer if he had been able to feel this burning desire to help people when he was still a professional athlete. We have plenty of out, washed-up has-beens and never-weres already. Is Michael Sam the ONLY queer in the NFL with any balls?

  • jwrappaport

    @Alton: Amen. Good for him for coming to terms with his sexual orientation, but this is hardly a newsworthy or, dare I say courageous, act.

  • Zekester

    @jwrappaport: Coming out is always a courageous act.

  • Billy Budd


  • Kidomega123

    @Alton: The article states he was BRIEFLY in the NFL. Further research shows he worked out with the Arizona Cardinals for their training camp, but broke his foot and never played in a single game. I dont know that chastising him for not coming out for “the cause” is a fair thing to do. He barely had a career as it was. Perhaps we should just be happy and supportive of his growth as a human being and leave it at that.

  • Kenover

    Happy Independence Day, Brad!

  • Lvng1tor

    My first thought was “Coming Out as a Career Move” but Since he came out on his own blog I’ll give him credit for just being honest. At the least it’s one more example of gay men playing in the NFL (well making it to training camp) It’s a net positive for young LGBTQ who want to play. Good For Him and yes Thank you to him.

  • Alton

    @Kidomega123: Not really chastising him so much as lamenting the fact that we STILL don’t have an established NFL player willing to crack open the closet door…which, admittedly, is not Brad Thorson’s fault. Obviously, it benefits our community WHENEVER someone comes out, and I agree with the other poster who said that coming out is always an act of courage. However, coming out would have further-reaching implications from an athlete during the prime of his career (however brief and/or unmemorable) than after it’s over. I had hoped the coming out story of Michael Sam would inspire some active roster players to come out in solidarity, not just players who have long since hung up their jocks for good.

  • Kidomega123

    @Alton: I agree. Hopefully time will tell. :)

  • Tackle

    @Alton: Agree with everything you say. Good thing that he did come out, mainly for his personal freedom, and I guess to help encourage and inspire LGBTQ young and old alike. I guess?? But here is where I I’m just a bit cynical. I believe that he is sincere. But when your main career is over, there can be a second career in coming out, for some. Not saying someone will get rich. But there is good money to be made from books, speaking engagements, the college circuit and so forth.

  • Black Pegasus

    Was there an editing error?

    Shouldn’t “former” be somewhere in the title?

  • Xzamilloh

    @Black Pegasus: Exactly. I thought Michael Sam was about to have some company, but this is just another player coming out after the fact. Kudos to him taking this step, but this doesn’t really do much but demonstrate that we should wait until there is nothing substantial to lose before coming out

  • Mikah

    Be free,and be true.

  • Disagreeing with the homosexual lifestyle choice

    This football player should get help for his disgusting perverted lifestyle choice.

    This free e-book ‘How to recruit proof your child’ is a free guide on how parents can protect their children from being influenced by homosexualism. I have successfully employed these parenting skills to navigate my children away from perversion. I am happy to say that my children are now married in the only true sense of the word marriage, to the opposite sex, and their fruitful marriage has produced children like only a natural man and woman union can, and that my children are successful adults who do not set a bad example for children by engaging in perversion or basing their entire identity around what they do with their genitals, unlike “gays” who are disgusting confused sickos.

  • Disagreeing with the homosexual lifestyle choice

    @jwrappaport: It is not a courageous act to confess to the world that you’re a confused sodomite pervert. I hope they have a separate locker room for the homosexual pervert football players. I wouldn’t want to have to share a locker room with some AIDS infected fag staring at my body lasciviously.

  • triryche3

    Well, you guys criticizing him, You go join the NFL, NBA, NHL, what have you & YOU come out. It’s so easy to sit where ever you are & say “He/She should have…” when you aren’t in their situation! It’s hard enough for everyday people to come out, to themselves or family. But to have intense public scrutiny, news & tabloids all around you 24/7? I couldn’t & wouldn’t. You say “But they sign up for it!” Yes they do, but they ALSO have a right to their own privacy/timeline. They can be a role model, if they choose! If they want to be one then fine. “It’s part of the job” No it’s not. Modern society has Made it part of the job.

    Imagine this scenario, put yourself in Player position.

    Player, a new NFL superstar who’s gained fame & fortune since joining ***, was seen last night kissing another man. According to eye witness’ they were seen at popular restaurant ***, close together conversing, then came some very intimate kissing. After leaving Player & his companion, we have found out is Mr. A, then went to an adult store bought some lubricant & condoms as well as adult products. They then called in a third party & Player was…

    Yes a little over the top, but every intrusion would feel that horrible to yourself, family & friends. Major news places might have integrity(HAHAHA) but tabloids do not. & “Heaven” help you if you fall out of favor, publicly or professionally. All tabloids, all they have to do is pay anyone to say something they want to print, there is their “source”.

    As Tackle says there is money to be made in various other ways after. But what if your dream was your sport? Would you be so willing to give it up? Yes we now have a gay NFL player, a gay NBA player & a gay MLS player. BUT. Michael Sam has yet to play & as far as I know is going to be a back up player, whatever their called. Jason Collins is still a minor player & so is Robbie Rogers. And that is definitely not to take away their achievements!! I would never do that! Personally I think it’s going to take a few more out people going INTO a sport to set things up for an established player to be in a position to come out.


    @Disagreeing with the homosexual lifestyle choice:
    I hope your mothe’s cancer riddled corpse gets dug up and raped by a homeless and his dog on a string.

    Don’t worry it’s a male dog. Wouldn’t want to offend the natural order :)


    Oh it seems I left the “R” out of your mother. That will be rectified ;)

  • wpewen

    Nobody should get down on this guy’s case for not coming out sooner. Walk a mile in his shoes. If you were talented enough for the sport how soon would you risk your playing career to likely end?

  • masc4masc

    Who?? Not sure who he expects to help being that no one knows who he is and probably won’t even see his story. Is that rainbow glitter on his t-shirt?

  • TO

    Hell… I’m just glad you guys changed out his old #tbt photo for the current one from Brad’s Instagram. Hello mr foxypants rugby playing ex pro footballer!

  • cformusic

    @masc4masc: stole my thunder! nobody knows who this guy is AKA nobody cares! big whoop!

  • Alton

    @triryche3: No one said it would be easy, and no one said the price wouldn’t be high. I fully respect the right of anyone who is not actively working against the rights of gay people to come out if and whenever they feel like it, and that includes professional athletes and other celebrities. However, that doesn’t mean I have to have any respect for, say, a Super bowl winning quarterback at the very top of his profession who already has more money than he’ll ever be able to spend but still finds it necessary to indulge in a string of pretend relationships with a string of morally-suspect beards women while denying the gay allegations of the former roommate with whom he shared multi-million-dollar home for some inexplicable reason, especially when an undersized defensive lineman with everything to lose and nothing to gain already paved the way for him to be honest with himself, his team, and his fans. Speaking hypothetically, of course.

  • James Hart

    Now don’t jump down my throat guys (or maybe you should ;-)), but Brad looks mighty effeminate in the picture above. When he was playing football and was in the closet, he was pretty butch. Now, he looks Nellie. Who’s giving him hair styling? RuPaul?

  • DickieJohnson

    @ ALL you critical c*cksuckers: To come out so publicly is a BIG deal, period! Why don’t all of you post your coming out on the ‘net, using your real names, of course.

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