Karine Jean-Pierre
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Closeted Football Player: 'I’m Not Ashamed, Just Scared'

Alone in the Game

In a documentary soon to be released, a gay Division I football player blurs his face and voice to explain why he won’t come out of the closet.

“I’m not ashamed, just scared,” he says, according to USA Today, which reports that “This player says he’s been told he has a shot at the NFL, but says he fears if he were to come out that his teammates wouldn’t talk to him and his coaches would see him as inferior.”

The new documentary, Alone in the Game, will premiere on AT&T Audience Network on June 28 after hitting the film festivals earlier in pride month. 

With the retirement of Robbie Rogers from Major League Soccer, and the same path for Jason Collins from the NBA, there is not a single out player in all of major sports. Michael Sam made history as the first out player to be drafted in the NFL but his career ended abruptly without him debuting in a regular season game. 

The documentary is made by David McFarland, an LGBT activist who is a former CEO of The Trevor Project and who founded United for Equality in Sports and Entertainment

USA Today reports that another active player, this one in the Southeastern Conference, will come out in the film. In an interview with the American Film Institute, McFarland explained how he got access to closeted players.  

“Being immersed in the world of sport and the LGBT community for the past three decades, combined with my professional experience, I have developed a trusted and confidential network that often leads me to closeted athletes, athletes in crisis and/or athletes who have faced head-on a culture of exclusion from sport,” McFarland said. 

“For me, documentary storytelling is about bringing a hidden world to audiences to help create change and make a real difference in the lives of others,” he told AFI, which will premiere the film on June 15

Watch a trailer for Alone in the Game:

Tags: Sports, film, Football, NFL

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