Outsports Owner Cyd Zeigler Says “Fear of the Unknown” Keeps Active Pro Athletes from Coming Out as GayMay 25, 2012 – 6:30 am by Brad Gagnon
Sexuality and sports commentator and author Cyd Zeigler, who owns and operates OutSports.com, a website targeted toward gay sports fans and athletes, attended the NFLPA Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles last week and asked a dozen incoming rookies/former NFL stars about homosexuality and professional sports. The resulting conversations would seem to indicate progression and acceptance in a world long considered closed to the gay community.
OutSports.com owner Cyd Zeigler joined Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland to talk about his discussions with current and former players regarding homosexuality in pro football.
On why this is an appropriate time for this to be discussed:
“I always say that reporters should ask these questions. It’s in the zeitgeist — Barack Obama a couple weeks ago coming out for same-sex marriage and a court case in California. This issue, people are talking about it. And we still never had an active professional athlete in the United States ever come out of the closet while he was still playing.”
On why an active professional athlete has yet to come out:
“Fear of the unknown. Because listen, what was the tease that you gave that you might not make it out alive if you ask these questions — if you just ask questions about this issue you might not make it out alive. … People are afraid of what they don’t know and just not a lot of athletes talk about this issue, so I said I’m gonna talk about this issue.”
On if the NFLPA, who issued him his credential, took issue with his questions:
“Well I will tell you that there was someone not with the NFLPA — a freelancer who was running the red carpet event — who was a little uncomfortable as I started asking some of these questions. But ultimately he didn’t stop me.”
On his conversation with Eddie George:
“(He) kind of looked at me like, ‘I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. They do what they do and it’s not my business.’”
On if any of the players he talked to were uncomfortable discussing the topic:
“There was one guy of the 12 who I think really didn’t want to talk about these things. The other 11 just seemed like they didn’t care. They honestly just didn’t care. … If you read my piece and you read between the lines you can figure out which one (didn’t want to talk about it).”
On an e-mail he received from Scott Fujita:
“He wrote to me and he said, ‘You know what, Cyd. The work you’re doing’s too important. You keep it up and thank you for doing it.’”