15:40 EST 11 April 2013
NFL star Kerry Rhodes has been forced to speak out and deny recent media reports that he is gay – after pictures allegedly of him with his arm around a ‘friend’ emerged.
The photos surfaced today on MediaTakeout of the former Cardinal’s player on a recent vacation. He is seen sitting in a boat with his arm around a man and in another, carrying the same man like a baby.
Speaking to TMZ today, Rhodes – who is now a free agent – 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. The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team.
‘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.’
Last week Brendon Ayanbadejo, who played for last season’s champs The Baltimore Ravens and is an outspoken supporter of gay marriage, told the Baltimore Sun that four NFL players could be ready to come out soon, all at the same time.
By coming out together the move would take the pressure of any one player to have to handle being the NFL’s first openly gay star.
‘I think it will happen sooner than you think,’ Ayanbadejo told the newspaper.
‘We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now, and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together.
‘It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.
‘Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting. We’re in talks with a few guys who are considering it.
‘The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We’ll see what happens.’
A 10-year veteran, the 36-year-old Ayanbadejo played primarily on special teams with the Super Bowl champion Ravens. He had a career-high 30 tackles from scrimmage last season, a sack and 14 stops on special teams.
Ayanbadejo made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Ravens after also making it twice while with the Chicago Bears.
He wrote: ‘I’m told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months – and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.’
Freeman did not say who the player is or any specifics about when his announcement would be made.
Openly gay former player Scott Fujita told Freeman: ‘I honestly think the players of the NFL have been ready for an openly gay player for quite some time now.
He added: ‘Trust me, the coming out of a player would create much bigger waves outside the locker room than inside.’
But on the opposite end of the spectrum are opponents and a culture of homophobia.
Last month Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons tweeted: ‘Who on God’s earth is this person saying he’s coming out of the closet in the NFL?’
He said a player revealing that they are gay would be a ‘selfish act’ by someone ‘just trying to make themselves bigger then the team’.
Days before the Super Bowl, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was asked about the prospect of gay players in the locker room during a radio interview.
Culliver shot back: ‘I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that.’
When asked if he believed there were any gay players on the 49ers roster, Culliver responded: ‘No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.’
Culliver later issued a bizarre apology for his remarks, saying that the comments were a ‘reflection of thoughts in my head’ but not representative of how he feels.
A debate about gay players in the NFL was sparked anew in the Manti Te’o ‘fake girlfriend’ hoax, where the former Notre Dame football star claimed that he was the victim of a prankster who was posing as a woman and later faked her death.
It was alleged that Te’o was gay and had invented the online persona in an attempt to cover it up.
He denied he was behind the scam – as well as being gay – in an interview with talk show host Katie Couric.
At the NFL scouting combine last month, Te’o – as well as several other players – were reportedly asked about their sexual orientations.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called such a line of questioning ‘unacceptable,’ and the New York attorney general has urged the league to investigate.
Michigan quarterback-turned-receiver Denard Robinson, Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell indicated they were asked about their sexual orientation at the combine last month in Indianapolis.
Brendon Ayanbadejo was born on September 6th, 1976 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendon_Ayanbadejo
September 6th, 1976
9 + 6 +1+9+7+6 = 38 = his life lesson = I care.
September 6th, 1976
9 + 6 +2+0+1+2 = 20 = his personal year (from September 6th, 2012 to September 5th, 2013) = Judge not lest thee be judged.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
2955465 1715214516 69
his path of destiny = 69 = Doing fine.
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