Linebacker With Gay Brother Says First NFL Player Who Comes Out Will Be “Hero”

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.

Photos: OutSports, Houston Texans

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  • jason

    While I commend Connor Barwin, it’s always the brother, isn’t it? Wherever I look in anything to do with highly paid professions, the most they can do for us is offer the brother or “the friend” as that gay person. Ever get the feeling that we’re being subjugated and manipulated at the same time?

  • MikeE

    @jason: No.

    Does being both cynical and a misogynist make you happy?

    Does your negative outlook on everything really bring joy into your life?

    Your comments, every one of them on this blog, betray a very profound unhappiness. In a way, I feel really sorry for you. You lash out at everybody and everything around you. You blind yourself to anything that could be good. You delude yourself that your negativity is somehow “the truth”.

    Seriously: get help.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @jason: So, you’re saying the straight brother should pretend to be gay so that you can feel better about yourself? Or, perhaps, this guy is just like most loving brothers, supportive of his brother, knowledgeable about the homophobia his brother endures, and standing up tall against discrimination.

    @MikeE: Very well said.

  • jason

    I will have you to know that I have a positive outlook on life. I’ve got positive points.

  • tj

    Oh please BS. I have a couple of pro athletes in my family, they and their friends have told me unequivocally, that an out athlete’s life would be complete and utter hell. However, there are apparently a few players in the NBA who people suspect but kinda just leave it alone sense they don’t come out. Coming out would be seen as an embarrassment to the team.

  • jason

    Most NFL men are bisexual.

  • MikeE

    Someone once told Jason he was delusional.
    He laughed so hard he nearly fell off his unicorn.

  • Daez

    @jason: Most of your “facts” are completely made up.

  • jason

    Mike E and Daez,

    I’m certainly not going to waste bandwidth responding in depth to your malignant assertions.

  • Carl 1

    @jason: So what, you want a straight guy to pretend to be gay, just so you can say “hey look, we got one!”

    At least this guy is being upportive of us, his brother and any teammates who decide to come out.

    I’m not sure it’d be as hard as others think – look at Gareth Thomas, who although retired now, was the first out major Rugby player (held multiple caps in his career) and experienced very little trouble with it. And Rugby is one of, if not the, toughest and most ‘macho’ sports in the world.

  • Carl 1

    @MikeE: He really is one of the most astonishingly negative and prejudiced people I’ve encountered. It’s kind of staggering.

  • tj

    Do a google image search of his pictures…. I agree with Jason. Brother my azz!

  • darkorient

    He’s going to be a hero because it’s going to be hell for him after he came out.

  • Kev C

    He’s assuming that gays exist in the NFL. I doubt it. Homophobia is everywhere in sports. Players and coaches are keenly aware of anyone who shows “tendencies”. If gay players do exist, they are very well hidden. The last person you’d expect to be gay.

  • Daez

    @jason: Translation: I am talking out of my ass, and I know you can call me on it, so I will stop talking.

  • the other Greg

    If only a certain quarterback for the Broncos had a supportive straight brother? – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Codswallop

    @Kev C: Of course there are gays in the NFL. Several have come out after they’ve left the game, so why would you assume there are none there now?

    If an active player came out it’s not his teammates or management I’d worry about so much as players from other teams and the fans. Sports encourages a certain amount of hooliganism in its fans and once you mix homophobia with that things are likely to get ugly. That person will indeed be a hero because they’ll face a LOT of prejudice.

  • michael

    Tim Tebow are you listening????

  • the other Greg

    I don’t see anything wrong with the comment I just made, or any indication WHY it would be flagged.

    (And yet, as others have pointed out, Jason makes objectionable comments all the time, but they are posted and then flagged after the fact.)

    Can the editors please get around to letting it go thru within the next FIVE DAYS or so?

  • Adam

    We are all outsiders looking into this but I wonder to myself… Does he have someone in mind?

    Like I’m sure managers/publicists/studio heads all have a good idea of who is gay actor wise I wonder if players/sports managers have the same idea player wise.

    Either way we will have at least two sports players (Don’t know if both NFL) out by December. Calling it now.

  • the other Greg

    Well maybe it was just too long so I’ll condense it (again). While I usually enjoy jumping on Jason’s comments as much as anyone here, in this case I get his comment #1. From reading the gay press, it always seems like gay people can never accomplish anything in life UNLESS we have a “supportive” straight brother, supportive parents (at least one), supportive straight teachers, etc. And if we DON’T have those supportive figures… well, of course we are doomed to suicide or drug addiction! This isn’t what I generally see in real life, where many of my friends and I grew up in totally NON-supportive, hostile, even somewhat abusive situations, and lousy and dangerous public schools with lots of racists and bullies… yet somehow, most of us as adults (after a rocky start, usually) have managed fairly ordinary, fairly happy lives. But from reading gay publications, one would assume such a thing was impossible.

  • the other Greg

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with the comment I just tried to make. And I just posted one at 1:07pm, so it’s not some general ban. Can a moderator please respond?

  • Lauren Corralez

    Um, there’s already been a player who has come out. Clearly, he doesn’t watch Oprah.

  • Matt

    Lauren Corralez-Yes but ALL of the pro sports players both NFL and other sports such as the NBA, come out after they’re no longer playing.

  • Paul

    @jason: Wow…nearly every single post I see from you…you really are just a sour fucking grape, aren’t you?

  • Kev C

    @Codswallop: Because any player who is gay would be detected and discriminated against, which would stop them from entering the NFL. This is not the ignorant 80’s or 90’s, where a rare player might slip under the gaydar. These are jocks who party together and the paparrazi follow. They would know.

  • Dr. Dick

    Guys, if you don’t see “jason” and their comments for the accomplished political satire that it is then y’all aren’t as droll as you seem ;)
    He is clearly trolling us hard, with a dedication and regularity that merits no small amount of respect.

    …… least, I bloody effin hope so

  • Red Meat

    @Paul: He is just a gay troll, you can find him at other gay blogs as well :)

  • billywingartenson


    Sometimes it takes a close relative to understand the suffereing gay people endure. its as simple as that.

    fortunately he isnt like some xtians, who if they discover their kid is gay,……….

    their act of xtian love is to throw them out of family and home.

  • Lefty

    @the other Greg: Your comment almost certainly won’t go through. I had one without anything objectionable in it that was automatically flagged over six months ago and it still hasn’t been passed. I don’t think anyone bothers going through them.

    Re this dude, it seems perfectly natural to me that a brother of a gay man will be far more sympathetic and pro-active in tackling homophobia. He does have a gay brother – Joe, the man on the left in the photo above – and I don’t understand some of the negative comments directed towards him.
    Gradual change…

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @jason: oh please, your “Most NFL men are bisexual” is utter bullshit and completely made up and not based on any evidence.

    I have enjoyed the sexual company of 2 NFLers and 2 MLBers (one was a star and now in the Baseball HOF), 1 black and 1 white from each. As I had great times with them, of course I asked whether there were others on their respective teams who were potential fun times. Alas, each told me that they never played around with fellow pros and the two NFLers said they never played with guys on their college teams either.

    I have had fun times with two different guys who told they had had fun times with Dennis Rodman, but, as I was not invited, I can’t confirm about Rodman.

  • UsualPlayers

    the men who have come out as gay weren’t just players in the 80s and 90s

    And nothing has really changed in the sport. If anything , it would have been worse in the 80s and 90s

    Why do people say such stupid things on this site?

  • Mjbp

    It’s not as easy with football vs another sport. It’s difficult in any sporting arena for men. Women and lesbianism isn’t criticized nearly as much, if hardly ever. The first one to do it will be a hero but it will take some big balls. But in turn, they are all naive. To have 50+ men in a locker room and no one suspect or think that at least two are fully gay is sad. At one point it was stated that 1 in 7 men are gay…or something like that.

  • Mjbp

    @Adam: I’m sure a players closest friend/family/confidant if not most certainly his agent would and should know.

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