Gay football fans are still waiting for the day that an openly gay athlete plays in a regular season game, and with any luck, Scott Frantz will be the guy to make it happen. The former Kansas State offensive lineman is gearing up for the NFL draft — and explaining why his gay identity isn’t holding him back.
“I don’t think it’s a burden at all,” he explained to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an interview published on January 12. “If there’s people that look up to me because of that, I think that’s awesome. Anything I can do to be a role model to people. There’ll definitely be a lot of people that look up to me because of that, but that stuff is not even really on my mind at all. I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity.”
Refreshingly, Frantz told the newspaper that his Kansas State teammates embraced him and that he never heard any opposing player use an anti-gay slur towards him on the field. “Not once,” he added. “It’s not an issue. Just like everybody else, I’m a football player. That’s what people see me as.”
In a more inclusive world, it wouldn’t be national news when an openly-LGBTQ player gets drafted into an NFL team because a player’s gender and sexual identity would matter less on the gridiron than their athletic ability. And Frantz is already working toward that ideal.
“I tell every team the same thing,” he said. “I’m just like everyone else here. I’m here to take advantage of all the opportunities I’m given and make a 53-man roster, just like everybody else.”
“From what I’ve gathered, that’s all that matters. If you show up and you’re a good guy and you work hard and you play well, that’s all that matters. No one gives a crap about the other stuff.”
Brett Tessler, Frantz’s agent, elaborated on that point: “Obviously it would be very special to a lot of people, but Scott isn’t approaching this as a personal cause,” Tessler said to the Star-Telegram. “He’s really just gone about his business and let his play do the talking since he came out a few years ago. He’s been one of the most respected and well-liked players at Kansas State, and he’ll be just fine wherever he ends up next.”