As the NFL players association prepares for the first openly gay NFL player and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he would welcome a gay player on his team, one player tells ESPN, in the past, he wouldn’t have been open to a gay player on his team. While speaking to ESPN’s Outside the Line, Donte Stallworth says he was aggressively homophobic in his past.
“I’m ashamed to tell it, but when I was younger I was leaving the club,” Stallworth said. ”I was maybe 24 years old. I was leaving the club and there was a gay club letting out. And I walked out of there yelling gay slurs for no reason.”
Stallworth says as he grew older and experienced hate himself, he realized that in the past he was being a bigot towards homosexuals.
“I’ve experienced hate because of me for a number of reasons,” Stallworth said. “For the color of my skin, or having money. For my accident with my DUI and manslaughter four or five years ago. When I started to look back on that, and the hate that I got from all those people and I looked at it, like, you know what? That’s the same thing I’m doing towards gays. So I can’t be upset with these people if I’m being a bigot and acting that same way.”
The topic of whether or not an openly gay player would be welcome in the NFL is sure to be a popular topic over the next few seasons as players speak out on the topic.
Whether or not you agree with Stallworth’s past actions, it is great to see he can learn from his past.