NFL star Aaron Rodgers has opened up about closeted players.
While there have been major efforts to get more players to talk about their sexuality publicly, it's mostly fallen on deaf ears. Being gay in sports like the NFL remains somewhat of a taboo, and there are currently no out professional players in the league.
Eleven players have come out as gay during the history of the sport, and none while they were active.
In an interview with EPSN, Green Bay Packers star Rodgers admitted that he knows there's a lot of "fear" surrounding the idea of coming out, and he suggested that many players stay in the closet over fears of losing their jobs and lucrative deals.
There’s [still] a fear of job security. If you have a differing opinion, differing sexual orientation, they can get rid of you.
So is it better just to be quiet and not ever say anything? And not risk getting cut, with people saying: ‘Well, it’s because you can’t play’?”
Rodgers also spoke about his pal Ryan O'Callaghan, a retired lineman who recently came out of the closet. He said that the positive reaction that O'Callaghan got proves that the sport is "moving in the right direction".
“I’m incredibly proud of [retired Patriots and Chiefs lineman Ryan O’Callaghan]. I know he had a lot of fear about it, and how he would be accepted, and how people would change around him.
I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation. And the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer," he added.