Bil Browning

The Degayification of the NFL

Filed By Bil Browning | May 06, 2013 3:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, NFL, Tim Tebow

Sharp tongued Chris Kluwe has been cut from the Minnesota Vikings football team. He joins fellow marriage equality advocate and Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo on the sidelines about a year after they publicly declared their support of LGBT rights. Also getting the boot is Christian pinup Thumbnail image for bigstock-Football-on-the-Field-near-the-26160641.jpgand New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

Which makes me wonder... By cutting all three gentlemen, is the underlying message "Shut up about the gays already!"? After Kluwe and Ayanbadejo created a shitstorm with their public statements, talk about gays in the NFL, how much NFL teams support gay fans, blowback from tweets of support from pro- and anti-gay fans, did this-or-that team make an It Gets Better video, rumors of a major player coming out, chatter about Tebow's virginity, etc., did the NFL quietly say "Enough"?

All three played for different teams with their own owners and coaches, so I doubt it's some sort of conspiracy to silence the men. I'd posit, however, that the "Would you just shut up about it?" mentality is more than likely among those more concerned with filling seats than the rights of a minority group. That could have led all three teams to make their decisions - especially when coupled with the fact that none of them were exactly top players. (Although, let's be clear, all three are obviously at the top of the game comparatively or they wouldn't be professional athletes. They're just not in the top one percent of the top ten percent.)

So what do you think? Is there more to the story? Did homophobia - whether real or unconscious - play into this?


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