Why Out NFL Prospect Alan Gendreau Would Be a Perfect Draft Pick
Following up on the initial report from OutSports, Out magazine’s web site has an interesting take on the now-underway NFL draft, and more specifically the case of kicker Alan Gendreau, arguably the first true “out” NFL prospect. Aside from his Abercrombie looks, which would certainly attract marketing attention, Gendreau also has interesting bona fides: a killer leg and an off-field identity as a devout Christian. The latter is a wrench that those who argue that having an openly gay player in the locker room would be a tremendous distraction will have a hard time getting around.
And yet, there is no doubt the hand-wringers have a point: Locker rooms run best when they are almost militaristic (as anyone who suffered through having Terrell Owens on his team can attest), and the first openly gay player on an NFL roster is going to be a distraction, no matter how delicately, subtly, or blithely its owners and coaches handle it. Trailblazers are who they are — if you don’t believe it, remind yourself by seeing the new Jackie Robinson film biography.
We can only hope that the first openly gay NFL player, whether it turns out to be Alan Gendreau or someone else, will endure what is sure to be rough seas as gracefully as Robinson did. And that, unlike Robinson, he’ll enjoy a wide swath of support from teammates who simply want the best man for the firstname.lastname@example.org.