On what life might be like for a gay athlete in one of America’s major sports today:
“I’m not gay, but I was afraid to even let anyone have the thought. I can only imagine the agony—being a prisoner in your own mind — for someone who wants to come out. If I’m not gay and I am afraid to mention it, I can only imagine what an athlete must be going through if he is gay.”
On how Irvin’s Cowboys might have handled it if they had an openly gay teammate:
“I believe, if a teammate had said he was gay, we would have integrated him and kept moving because of the closeness. [...] We had a bunch of different characters on that team. Deion [Sanders] and Emmitt [Smith]. I believe that team would have handled it well.”
On an athlete coming out in today’s sports world:
“If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him,” says Irvin. “That’s why I do my radio show every day. When these issues come out, I want to have a voice to speak about them. I think growth comes when we share. Until we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the Dark Ages about a lot of things. When a guy steps up and says, ‘This is who I am,’ I guarantee you I’ll give him 100% support.”
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