Kerry Rhodes Still Denying Gay Relationship, Still Not Playing For The NFL

kerry-rhodes-gayOur old pal Kerry Rhodes did an interview with ESPN this week, insisting that his public denial of the relationship he shared with a former male assistant did not have him blacklisted by the NFL. He’s just got more important things going on, ya know?

Rhodes, a safety who wasn’t able to find employment in the NFL last season, said opportunities elsewhere were the real reason he didn’t play:

I don’t think I was blacklisted. Especially with the NFL I don’t think they would do that … to me it was a product of me wanting to do other things and not finding the right opportunity.

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Last year, a former male assistant to Rhodes claimed they were in love and, among other things, that Kerry Rhodes was a pretty awesome top. “I was like his wife,” Russell “Hollywood” Simpson told gossip site Bossip. “The other wives knew and loved me too. It was no secret!”

Rhodes adamantly denied the “rumors” and went on a bearding campaign for several weeks thereafter. He tells ESPN again that “I emphatically said no once and that’s all I need to say and people who know me know that’s definitely not the case.”

And on a completely unrelated note, ESPN asked Rhodes about out NFL draft hopeful Michael Sam and how he’ll be treated in the locker room:

I don’t think the locker room will change. I think they will be more cognizant of it, it’s such a big deal right now. I think they’ll try to police it a little more but I don’t think the locker room will change. Every locker room has a different dynamic.

Well alright, Kerry. We’ll see you next time we need comment on gays in the NFL, a topic which has absolutely no relation to you. Have fun working out.

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  • B Damion

    Girl bye!

  • jezuzchrist

    Forcibly outing people is just as hypocritical as calling out Republicans for discriminating against our rights. You are bullying someone who has never made a homophobic comment. I am all for outing anti-gay politicians, but leave this poor guy alone. Everybody has their own reasons for not coming out until they are ready to. We accomplish nothing by going after our own. Queerty is making the gay community look like a bunch of crazy witch hunters.

  • Mike

    Why is it that every time someone claims a football player is gay, supposedly there are all these other people that know, but you never hear from any of those people backing it up. Interesting.

  • CCTR

    @jezuzchrist: “Queerty is making the gay community look like a bunch of crazy witch hunters.”

    I wouldn’t exactly call ESPN the gay community. Nor does Queerty represent the gay community.

    We are not certain as to whether or not Kerry has “ever” made a homophobic comment. If he did have a sexual relationship with his former male assistant as the assistant claims then denying that relationship is a homophobic action to say the least.

    You are right everyone has the right to “come out” when they are ready to but when you allow yourself to be photographed in intimate poses and seen in public, people have the right to ask and speculated as to whether those poses are indicative of a romantic relationship.

    When gay men stay in this public closet it only perpetuates the negative stigma around being gay. The media always speculates and ask about heterosexual relationships and affairs, not usually considered a witch hunt.

    just my opinion

  • CCTR

    @Mike: probably because some people simply have no interest and/or incentive in confirming or labeling another person’s sexual orientation especially when it goes against the football player’s claims of being heterosexual

  • Dxley

    Who’s “we”, Matthew?

  • nandaric

    @jezuzchrist: For starters here is a quote in regards to the GLBT community being “hypocrites” in regards to ignorance and bigotry:

    “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society… then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper

    Now as for Kerry Rhodes, he isn’t just some random person just trying to live his life in private. He is an athlete and anyone involved in college football and the NFL are public figures (by their own choice) and are quite often looked up to and admired by many. Part of the reason why the GLBT community wants to see us represented in the media, entertainment, politics and sports is not because we are nosy busybodies but because as long as we continue to act ashamed of ourselves and enable others to do the same then we just flat out are never going to reach the same level of respect, understanding, tolerance and equal treatment uder the law many other minorities fought for and won.

  • B Damion

    Where is this gay community everyone keeps mentioning? I would love to visit.

  • alterego1980

    @CCTR: I don’t really agree with you on this. As I’m sure you know, there could be a ton of personal history and family and cultural stigma placed on him.
    I think that when Queerty and other rags ran the initial story ad infinitum, they should have cooled it after he made his denial. ESPN only picks up on these things after a groundswell of buzz. He was most obviously in a full on relationship with this other guy and people should understand that, if he’s denied it, he’s not comfortable with that side of himself. For some, trying to push them out of the closet will do more harm than good (i.e. closeted conservatives who bash on gays). There are real people with real emotions. Not punching bags.
    The last point is that he’s probably really not gay and in his mind (guessing) that’s the question he’s answering/rationalizing it. he’s probably somewhere lower on the scale such as Bi or “straight but will get down with the right guy”.
    It’s just sad to see these people burdened with so much guilt and stigma (and attention) for who he is in a relationship with.

  • jezuzchrist

    It is not your place or mine to determine that an athlete who might be in the closet, and I stress the word might, should be forced out for our political gains. This is not 1980 where we force people out. We should have a better understanding about the harms associated with being forced out when you are not ready to. You could lose your job, family friends. I have never heard of a sound or legitimate reason to out somebody. The best gay rights advocate and role model, is one who comes out on their own terms, like Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Ellen Page, Ellen DeGeneres etc etc etc.

    I bet most of you had the luxury to come out on your own terms, and if you didn’t then you would understand what it feels like. I was forced out and suffered dearly for it.

  • frickeepoo

    “Outing” was not a popular pastime in 1980. I seem to recall it was the early 90s when Michaelangelo Signorile and others began calling gay public figures on the carpet for not coming out; and somebody coined the term outing for his exploits. It was a very different time when LGBT community members were dying by the tens of thousands every year, yet some public figures who were gay and in a position to speak to the issue(and be heard) chose to cower in their well-known closets and say nothing for their suffering lgbt brethren. That’s the climate I first encountered ‘outing’ and still it was not an easy decision for me to make about what I thought was right. I just had to filter the issue down to its smallest components,which to me were the right to privacy vs. the right to free speech. Free speech had to win out, in my opinion; which is why I say that people have every right to live their lives in the closet, but don’t whine about it if somebody who isn’t living a shame-based life of exclusion exercises their right to talk about it.

  • mz.sam

    Even though its the media’s ‘job’ to publish reports for inquiring minds, its another thing in wanting to OUT an individual or sports figure if they want to keep their lives private (or on the DL). No different than ex-Baptist minister/youth counselor, Joe Simpson, if seen in public with his ‘modeling client’ photographed sprawled on the beach with Joe. Although, a picture (as above) is worth a thousand assumptions!

  • Black Pegasus

    Kerry is in denial if he thinks there wasn’t a backlash from the NFL after that ugly queen went public about their relationship. Most of his NFL teammates knew Kerry was gay. He was obviously comfortable enough to be paring around with that Fantasia looking gremlin he called his assistant.

    Kerry, next time you need a discreet cool bro to be your assistant, holla at ya boy!

  • LadyL

    @jezuzchrist: Now, just a moment. In point of fact Queerty didn’t out Kerry Rhodes– his ex, Russell Simpson, did. And this is a site devoted to LGBT issues, culture and gossip.
    What, we’re not allowed to talk about this until Rhodes finally mans up and tells the truth?
    What is it about closet-case celebs that makes some people feel the rest of us should be under a gag order?

  • LadyL

    @jezuzchrist: How old were you when you were “forced” out? Were you at a vulnerable age, a youngster still in school and struggling to understand and accept yourself?
    If that was the case, you have my full sympathy–it must have been awful and I’m glad you survived it.
    …Or were you an adult living a down-low life and lying to everyone around you?
    In which case, how much sympathy should any of us have for you really? To paraphrase Barney Frank, you had the right to privacy but not the right to hypocrisy. That’s true even for private citizens.
    My point is that Kerry Rhodes is a grown man who sought a high-profile, public career–no one forced fame on him. He’s allowed himself to be photographed in what was once delicately referred to as compromising positions–several, actually–with the guy who has announced himself as his (ex)lover.
    Okay, then.
    Kerry Rhodes obviously lives in fear of how the NFL, the media, his posse, his mom, his dog, and the rest of the world will view him if he comes out. He’s clearly dealing with lingering issues of shame and denial. Many of us here have had our own struggles (yours truly included) and can understand his dilemmas.
    But understanding doesn’t mean we should be enabling his bullshit and propping up his denials. And talking openly about what he’s going through is not “forcing” him to do anything. Obviously.

  • Respect4all

    Don’t know him. Don’t care. Nobody’s business.

  • Kangol

    Kerry Rhodes alleged boyfriend Russell Simpson outed him. Before Queerty said anything, Mediatakeout, Bossip and other sites were on it. So no one should criticize Queerty about this, since it was already out there.

    Rhodes sounds deluded, and sad. Didn’t he claim he was marrying a woman, whom no one had previously seen or heard of, last summer? What happened to that “relationship”?

    What he’s expressing is tremendous fear of being openly gay. That’s sad. It also suggests that being gay is shameful or wrong. No NFL signed him last season and it wasn’t because he doesn’t have the skills. The man could easily have helped several teams out, including Denver’s secondary in the Super Bowl.

    But it’s clear he’s terrified of coming out. I’d hope that Jason Collins, Michael Sam, John Amaechi, Esera Tuaolo and others would make it easier on someone like Kerry Rhodes, but I guess not. Oh well. As I said, had he come out he’d be able to write his own ticket in the NFL, especially given how handsome and well-spoken he is.

  • jar

    Although the boyfriend outed him, let’s not ignore Kerry’s own self-sabotaging actions. He openly and freely engaged in a relationship with another man in which he enjoyed being public (to the point of taking pictures) at least under certain circumstances. There is a level on which all closet cases unwittingly or unintentionally out themselves because the truth is a powerful and freeing force. As the old adage goes, the truth will out.

  • LadyL

    @jar: I agree, and would add that when closet cases do “inadvertently” out themselves it’s also because they are bone-weary of years of hiding and pretending. They drop hints all over the place, hoping everyone else (the ex-boyfriend, the ex-wife, the instagrams, the gay press) will do the coming out work for them.

  • Curtispsf

    Unless that person is doing direct affirmative harm to the LGBTQ community, no one should be publicly outed. And shame on Queerty for behaving like a Rupert Murdoch rag. What’s next, gay aliens?

  • Curtispsf

    @CCTR: “you are right everyone has the right to “come out” when they are ready to but when you allow yourself to be photographed in intimate poses and seen in public, people have the right to ask and speculated as to whether those poses are indicative of a romantic relationship.”

    And WHY exactly do people have the right to ask questions about someone’s private life. If I see you in public being affectionate with someone of the same sex? do I have the right to intrude into YOUR life and ask you questions about who you are intimate with? If you’re male and I see you being affectionate with a woman in public, is it ok for me to come up and ask you if you’re fucking?

  • CCTR

    @Curtispsf: Once you display affections for someone in “public” that takes a bit of the “private” out of it. Private is private, public is public.

    Without showing affection, people have asked if my sister and I are married if my gay best friend and I were a couple and if my gay male boyfriend and I were a couple and I simply answered. I didn’t feel it was an intrusion into my private life, although no one has ever used the term “fucking”.

    The point I was trying to make was in regards to the idea of forcing Rhodes out of the closet. What harm is done by a gossip rag making suggestions about Rhodes sexuality after certain things have been made public such as the photos and statements by his former assistant? As long as he denies being gay he has not been “outed” nor forced to come out. A person is not out until they make the declaration. As a public figure he should not be surprised by the speculations and questions based on what he has displayed in public.
    There is a double standard when it comes to normalizing heterosexual affairs and relationships and a perpetuation that unannounced gay relationships should be kept as “dirty little secrets”.

  • Andrew Yang

    @jezuzchrist: Totally agree!!

Comments are closed.