Kerry Rhodes is beginning to sound a bit like a skit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but rather than saying “I’m not dead”, he’s saying over and over again “I’m not gay”. Rhodes is currently a free agent without a team. The rumors began after he was photographed walking with his arm around a male friend.
Rhodes told TMZ that he is straight as an arrow, and said “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. . .I am not gay.” He explaiend that “The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team.”
Rhodes, though, has said that he is supportive of gay professional athletes coming out and stated “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.”
There is a great deal of speculation regarding who in the NFL will be the first to come out. Some have speculated that more than one person will come out so as to take the pressure off of a single person to come out. The USA show Necessary Roughness had an episode in which a character came out of the closet as gay.
Professional sports teams have been willing to come out in opposition to bullying, but very few professional athletes have been willing to come out while still active in their sports. Several athletes have come out after they have left the world of professional sports.
Still a fair number of athletes have signaled their support for their gay colleagues even though none have yet to come out.
Of course, it could be problematic for Rhodes to shake the speculation that he’s gay even if he isn’t.