Here’s How the NFL Tackled One Teen’s Antigay Bullying Head-On

Just a couple years ago, a sentence like this would have been unthinkable:

In this video, a NFL star gives a gay youngster a tour of the Giants locker room, and sits down to chat about overcoming discrimination.

What is this crazy new awesome planet we are living in, where stuff like this happens?

The video is part of a partnership between USA (the TV company, not the country) and the NFL, and highlights exemplaray character. The stars are 19-year-old Joey Kemmerling and Giants wide receiver (heh) Victor Cruz.

Joey told a few people he was gay in high school, but words spread. “After I came out, the locker room was the last place I wanted to be. It was full of homophobia.”

His principal was very helpful and told Joey to act less gay. Great job, school administrator! Joey went through what sounds like depression, and removed himself from the sports activities that he once loved. He became a bit of a pariah at his school.

But these days he’s worked through his difficulties, got a diploma, and is going to school. (And we have a sneaking suspicion that he’s going to be very very popular with other gay men.)

This is the first time Joey’s been back to a locker room since his painful high school experience. Not a bad way to rejoin the sports world!

This is a far more uplifting story than the weird Aaron Rodgers semi-outing. We’re still kind of in shock that the new normal includes gay-affirming sports heroes, but might as well get used to it. Ta da!