Monday was a crazy day in the NFL. It was Black Monday — the day football coaches around the league hope and pray that they don’t get fired. We saw five coaches lose their jobs: Jim Schwartz, Mike Shanahan, Greg Schiano, Leslie Frazier and Rob Chudzinski. Coaching decisions, however, weren’t the only news that surfaced from the NFL on Monday.
Rumors have started that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is gay. This may or may not be true; the sources of the reports don’t appear to be overly trustworthy. My colleague, Ryan Heckman, wrote a nice piece explaining the situation earlier on Monday. If you haven’t heard about this yet, make sure to give his piece a read.
Whether or not it’s true, people are going to talk and they are going to have opinions. My job is to explain my opinion on subjects with words typed on a computer, and that is just what I’m going to do for you in the upcoming paragraphs.
Personally, I see this as a non-story. I’d like to think that by now, just prior to 2014, we as a society can hear about an athlete being gay and just move on without judging the man. This isn’t just any athlete; this is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback on one of the most historical franchises in the world’s most popular professional sports league. When I heard this rumor I was obviously surprised, but I don’t think any differently of Rodgers. Well, no, obviously I do. I obviously think about him being gay when I see him, but it’s not an issue with me.
To me, Rodgers is, before anything else, a Super Bowl winner with 188 career passing touchdowns and just 52 interceptions. Rodgers is a quarterback with a career 126 passer rating. He has a 58-29 record as a starting quarterback. Rodgers is possibly the best quarterback in the NFL today. Oh, and he’s gay.
This is great for the gay community, particularly the gay athletes. This isn’t like when Jason Collins, the NBA player, came out. This is a potential Hall of Fame caliber player. Obviously the rumors are just rumors, but if Rodgers does confirm them at some point, hopefully people will be accepting of his sexuality. If people are able to accept Rodgers it will possibly spark a chain reaction of more athletes coming out as gay. Anytime people can admit to being different without having to feel humiliated it is a positive sign for us as humans. If you see someone making fun of Rodgers for being gay make sure to remember it isn’t a big deal. It isn’t affecting anyone other than him and his partner, so why concern yourself with it?