A gay kicker on a Division I-A team in the Bible Belt has told his story to Eric Anderson of Outsports. The player, who goes by the pseudonym "Tim" in the story, is not totally "out." But his sexuality is not a problem with teammates and he often brings his boyfriend to team parties.
Anderson writes: "Like so many their age, the two met on Facebook. Although he once attended the same college as Tim, he has since transferred to another school. ... His boyfriend is an openly gay former baseball player (he was closeted while playing) for his school. He comes to watch Tim play football whenever he can.
"Although Tim does not introduce him to his teammates as his boyfriend, 'people know,' Tim says. One of the team's seniors said to him this past season: 'I know about you, and if anyone ever messes with you, you just tell me who they are and I'll beat the crap out of whoever it is.' "
Why didn't Tim want his identity revealed? Anderson writes that the player "says he is not ready to be that out. He also believes that his coach should know before an article is made public about it. Telling the coach won't be a big deal, he says; in fact, he says several of the players have recommended that he do so. 'Our coach has to deal with a lot. He can't be closed-minded; we have players with babies and others that have been in jail,' Tim says. 'He is an understanding guy. He has to in order to be able to do his job."'
"But for now, Tim is not ready to be the poster-athlete for gays in sport. He is in no particular rush to come out publicly. He doesn't see himself doing so in the future, either."