After Michael Sam came out as the first openly gay active professional football player last year, there was plenty of talk about how many gay players were actually in the NFL. Former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot (who once famously said “2/3s of the Earth is covered by water, the other 1/3 is covered by Fred Smoot”) shed some light on the topic during a Reddit AMA Monday saying that he played with “several” gay players and saying that everyone knew and no one cared.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. There are plenty of gay players who are hiding in the shadows because they don’t want to have the public stigma attached to being homosexual. Those players are just as respected in the locker room as everyone else and it sounds like the other players really don’t care as long as their teammate is performing on the field.
There is going to be a point where another active player is going to come out as gay. It will get a ton of media attention even if it shouldn’t and the players in the locker room are just going to look around and ask why it was such a big deal. Smoot has opened up the door to showing that pro athletes really don’t care that their teammates being gay or not.