CHRIS KLUWE of the Minnesota Vikings makes an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Friday, January 18th. Ellen talks with Chris about why there are no “out” players in NFL and how he hopes that can change…
ON WHY HE THINKS THERE ARE NO “OUT” PLAYERS IN THE NFL:
Ellen: There are no out players in you know, football, basketball, baseball. You know national leagues. There are gay players. There’s just no out players.
Ellen: First of all, my question is, do you see a shift in the way people are looking and thinking about that and why aren’t there any out players?
Chris: I see the shift in the fact that as older people die..(laughing) the younger people who were brought up to be more tolerant and accepting. They’re kind of replacing those people….When I first came in the league you could tell that the 8 and 9 years vets. You know, they grew up in the 80’s or early 90’s and that was part of the accepted culture of the time. You could call someone gay and it deemed an acceptable insult. Now were brought up, kids are brought up they’re taught that it’s not ok to call someone gay because that’s who they are. It shouldn’t be an insult. That’s a person. I think you’re seeing that now in the NFL because the kids that are coming out of college that’s how they’ve been raised so there is that shift happening.
Ellen: Obviously if someone was out…do you think they would immediately be picked on? Because there is trash talk any way on the field, right?
Ellen: Somebody’s really going to come after you. Are they worried about getting hurt? Are they worried about getting kicked out of the league?
Chris: I think it’s more a distraction issue in that it’s so hard to make it to the NFL. It’s maybe 1% of 1% of everyone that plays high school football will even have a chance at the NFL. So it’s one of those things that you look at it and maybe I can put up with this for 4 years, 5 years make my money and then once I’m done I can be who I really am. But hopefully the stuff that Brendon’s doing. The guys like Scott Fujita and Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans that I am helping out is to create environment where one day a player will feel, I can be who I am.
Chris: I don’t have to hide who I am and it won’t affect my football playing. Because I am here to play football.
Ellen: Well, that’s the case with most people who are scared to come out what ever the profession is. I think they think, well, when I’m done with my job I’ll do it. Which doesn’t help anybody especially kids that are feeling alone living some place thinking I don’t have any role models.
Chris: Right, exactly.
Ellen: But I know it’s hard for people to do that….
Photo Credit:Michael Rozman/Warner Bros