‘Outing’ of NFL’s Kerry Rhodes example of why athletes stay in closet

Kerry Rhodes

Rumors of Kerry Rhodes being gay come full circle with release of vacation photos

A young man named Russell “Hollywood” Simpson has released a gallery of photographs of himself vacationing (cozily, I might add) with NFL free agent defensive back Kerry Rhodes.

While the pictures are a rather convincing indication that Rhodes might be gay, he flatly denies it.

Here is his statement to TMZ

    “Photos have been circulating of my former assistant and I that have caused some rumors regarding my sexuality, and I wanted to address the situation.”

    Rhodes then says flatly, “I am not gay.”

    Rhodes explains: “The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team.”

    Rhodes says when it comes to being supportive of gay professional athletes coming out, he’s on Magic Johnson’s team: “I know a lot of people are recently talking about athletes struggling to come out to their fans right now, and I support them, as well as wish those individuals comfort.”

Side note to Kerry: You spoke to yourself.

There is also this recent video of an interview Rhodes gave to ChristyReports.com where he is asked of his opinion on the type of woman he likes and players revealing themselves as gay….

That was rather awkward.

Without argument, the choice to reveal his sexuality is Kerry’s alone. To date, no active player has revealed himself as gay, so he should not be looked upon with disdain. That’s right, keep your shade to yourself.

Brendan Ayanbadejo, a linebacker and current free agent who has been very outspoken about the subject of equality, recently gave indication that a group of NFL players will soon “come out” together. But, could the Rhodes scandal postpone that now?

Speculation that a player could be gay versus the presence of actual photos to substantiate that speculation delivers to us a new day.

Women have been putting athletes “on blast” for years. There have been peen pics, blind items, and in-depth groupie tales that have put some players to shame.

But, this? This shht right here? Its in the stratosphere as far as stories go and frankly, the court of public opinion has not purchased what Rhodes is trying to sell. Receipts be damned.

The sadness of it all lies in the fact that he’s been thrust into this position unwillingly. Worst still, is that its at the hands of someone he obviously cared for, greatly. Talk about betrayal.

“Hollywood” displayed the behavior of an immature lover scorned, not that of a devoted friend or partner, or however he classified himself in the relationship.

The photos and accounts of his relationship with Kerry, and the gifts he received should have been kept private until a mutual decision was otherwise made for them to be revealed. Now, their business is in full bloom, including an Instgram account or two, a MediaTakeout exposé, and interviews given by Simpson to Bossip and Baller Alert.

What we have here is a prime example of why athletes who are actively playing keep a tight lip about their sexuality when it is anything other than “conventional.” Rhodes must now face a scrutiny I’m sure he is not ready for. Its possible he will be shunned by teams (although that would be discriminatory), and if not by teams, then he could have a hard time in the locker room or on the field.

If you fear that players will “come out” and expect preferential treatment, I think you’re wrong. They will want respect — just like any other group of people who are viewed as inferior or less than.

The LGBT community is represented in every walk of life, so why should the world of sports be any different? There exists a mythical vision of what our athletes should be. They are expected to be invincible and “manly,” and able to leap tall buildings by leaps and bounds.

The truth is they are human and they live in a vacuum. They often leave the game (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) battered, broken, and BROKE. By that time, fans no longer care, so why care about who they are lovin’? Especially since you aren’t likely to think twice about them once they stop throwing, running, shooting, bouncing, catching, or hitting a ball, all in the name of winning for your team.

My wish for Kerry is that he receives immediate support from his family and loved ones, and that he chooses to remain committed to his football career, against all odds. It might also serve him well to call Judy Smith. Scandal wasn’t created around her for nothin’.

As for messy “Hollywood,” who seems like he might have info on other athletes, lets hope he doesn’t turn into the Superhead of the gays, and that he goes quietly off to the gag order life that surely awaits him.

1 ping

  1. Requiem for Journalistic Integrity | Trans/plant/portation

    […] The pressures on gay athletes and why they stay in the closet. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>