It would help a lot if the player was a contributor to the team. If he was a guy that people didn’t like his personality or wasn’t helping on the team, I think it would be very hard for him. But I could be wrong. It’s amazing how many people know relatives or friends who are gay, so I think it might not be as hard as some people think.
The first guy that does come out in the NFL might confide in some of his friends and it might spread and be accepted throughout the locker room. And people would just get to know he’s gay and people will move on with football, the season and their life and realize it’s not a big deal at all. There’s nothing different about what they’re doing. There’s nobody having sex in the locker room, so there’s nothing really different…
I think the fan base [In Houston] would definitely be cool with it. I think they would be proud of anybody that came out and said they were gay. More importantly than that, if the guy was a good football player the fan base would really love him.
The first guy that comes out—great player or mediocre player—I think he will be a hero and be accepted. People are just waiting for it to happen.”
Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin (above right), whose brother is gay, discussing the possibility of an openly gay player in the NFL, with OutSports.