Retired Football Player Kris Jenkins Frustrated by Antigay Team Owners
BY Michelle Garcia
October 23 2012 12:13 PM ET
Former New York Jet and Carolina Panther Kris Jenkins says that now that he's retired, he's tired of forces within the NFL keeping LGBT players closeted and their keeping allies from speaking up.
Jenkins told Outsports in an interview published Monday that the stifling of a pro-LGBT attitude stems partly from the fact that many owners "are old money, and they're nervous about ruffling feathers."
He added, "The whole situation is very frustrating. I'm retired. But playing for 10 years, youâ€™re in a profession where youâ€™re pretty much marched in a straight line. Eat this, do that. There arenâ€™t a lot of straight men who have the courage to speak out and say, hey, from the people Iâ€™ve met in the LGBT community, Iâ€™ve met some amazing people. Iâ€™ve had a humbling awakening, and they should be respected by everybody. Where it becomes an issue for the NFL, it always becomes about preserving the integrity of the game."
Cyd Zeigler of Outsports said he was prompted to interview Jenkins after he made a radio appearance that seemed questionably homophobic. Instead, Zeigler writes, the interview clarified that Jenkins is an LGBT ally.
Jenkins says he suspects he played with a gay teammate during his time in the league and added that when former defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo came out in retirement, many NFL players who worked with Tuaolo in the past did not care whether he was gay. Still, he says it's time for an NFL player to come out.
â€śSome people are afraid, if somebody comes out as openly gay, that itâ€™s going to be the end of football as we know it," he said. "But football will adapt and grow with it. Football needs to get back to being what it always has been. Itâ€™s a gridiron game. Itâ€™s about people going out there and playing every down to their maximum potential, being everything they can be. Itâ€™s about team chemistry.â€ť
- New Antigay Children's Book Teaches Kids to Hate LGBT Families
- WATCH: Kaitlyn Hunt Rejects Plea Deal, Girlfriend's Parents Say They Had No Choice
- Artist Spotlight: Christopher Sousa
- French Marriage Equality Opponent 'Very Scared' Of Right-Wing Backlash
- Robbie Rogers Becomes First Openly Gay Major League Soccer Player
- WATCH: It Already Got Better for This Colorado Student
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Television Jason Collins Calls It a 'Slam-Dunk!' and More Fake Gay Reviews for Behind the Candelabra 44 min 11 sec ago
- Food and Drink Want to Eat a Hot Dog Named After Harvey Fierstein? 1 hour 20 min ago
- Marriage Equality French Marriage Equality Opponent 'Very Scared' Of Right-Wing Backlash 3:02 PM
- Entertainment News Augusten Burroughs Shows Off Wedding Rings 1:56 PM
- Women WATCH: Kaitlyn Hunt Rejects Plea, Victim's Parents Speak 1:21 PM
- Washington D.C. White House to Host Pride Reception June 13 12:44 PM
- Politics Virginia's Lt. Gov. Nominee Says Gays Are 'Ikky' 12:35 PM