Q: You didn't put a date on it, but you do believe football is ready for it?
A: Yeah, I think so. The locker room is changing, and you're starting to see teams take a stand against discrimination, whether it's the Niners (San Francisco 49ers) or the Baltimore Ravens. Also, we have a meeting next week — Athlete Ally (an organization that promotes equality in sports) and myself have a meeting next week, or some time in early April — with the NFL about joining Athlete Ally and inclusiveness in sports.
You're seeing people that have roles inside the NFL — and they're not necessarily players — but their roles from the top, coming down accepting equality and inclusiveness. So I think we're laying the foundation for a player to be comfortable and safe. We're not exactly there in every organization, but I think we're getting there. When all the organizations in the NFL take a stand as a whole and the orders come from the top down and we do some training with the rookies and we talk about Athlete Ally and inclusiveness in sports, we are really going to see a momentous change in acceptance.
Q: How does the notion of the NFL being ready for an openly gay player square with organizations that ask potential draftees if they 'like girls?'
A: Yeah, that was pretty outrageous and outlandish that they did that. Obviously, that's something you could never do in corporate America. But also at the same time, in the majority of states, you can still be fired for being LGBT. I think more than anything, when these types of things happen — when corporations "misbehave" — it leads to faster change. Look at all the pushback the NFL got and how big the news was when it happened. Now they had to send memos to teams that you can't do this and there's certain behaviors you can't act in.
If that had never happened, or it had not been made public, teams would still be practicing and doing those same things they did that were discriminatory. So when they do make mistakes and it goes public, it can be a catalyst for change. and that's actually a good thin