BALTIMORE (AP) — Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo says up to four NFL players may soon come out as gay, according to a published report.
"I think it will happen sooner than you think," Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun. "We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.
"Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It's cool. It's exciting. We're in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We'll see what happens."
The treatment of gays and athletes is a hot topic. Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice was fired this week for pushing, shoving and throwing balls at players in November, and addressing players with homophobic slurs. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti resigned after criticism for only suspending and fining the coach after the video was brought to his attention.