In the recent swirl of hot flatulence of homophobia and anti-LGBTQ sentiment from our so-called faith leaders and Trump, it’s a relief to ponder National Football League quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ refreshing, sensitive viewpoints.
“I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation,” said the Green Bay Packers quarterback. In an ESPN Q&A, he predicted openly gay players would sooner than later be welcome in the image-calculating NFL organization.
Although many topics were discussed, Rodgers said he was “incredibly proud” of now retired Ryan O’Callaghan, who played tackle for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. In a June 2017 interview with Outsports, O’Callaghan came out as gay. O’Callaghan and Rodgers were teammates at University of California, Berkeley from 2003 to 2004.
Even if O’Callaghan came out after his NFL career, Rodgers insists the revelation is testament that the sports world is ready to be inclusive of athletes not identifying with the hetero stereotype.
“And [even within] the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer,” he added.
However, “fear of job security” still lingers, Rodgers admits, alluding to but not naming Michael Sam. The talented Sam played college ball with great notice, came out as gay, but was still drafted by the NFL in 2014. The organization on a whole seemed to get cold feet, as he was later cut by two teams.
“If you have a differing opinion, differing sexual orientation, they can get rid of you,” he said. “So is it better just to be quiet and not ever say anything? And not risk getting cut, with people saying: ‘Well, it’s because you can’t play’?”
Though Rodgers has been romantically linked to actress Olivia Munn and soccer star Marie Margolius, rumors circulated in 2013 that he was involved with Kevin Lanflisi, his former assistant and roommate. The gossip possibly stems from sour grape Brett Favre being a dickhead, who was observed as resentful of Rodgers whilst both were quarterbacks with the Green Bay Packers.
“I’m just going to say I’m not gay,” Rodgers said in a 2013 interview. “I really, really like women… There’s always going to be silly stuff out there in the media which you can’t worry too much about, and I don’t.”