Larry Brown knew. and I said, 'No, I'm not.'" He's fond of using phrases like "in a fantasy world" or "in an ideal world," as in, "In a fantasy world, I would cut back on my time at work and take days off to go around and lecture kids under the aegis of the NFL. "Doesn't have to be an occasion—it's what's right. The question is not whether sexual orientation is "relevant" to NFL operations but whether NFL operations are relevant to athletes' sexual orientation—and clearly they are. Dave Kopay stood in front of me, that wonderful smile downturned and quivering just a bit, his eyes watering almost to brimming. More Items From eBay. Connect any celebrity with David Kopay to see how closely they are linked... romantically! Thanks David for coming out and for encouraging other gay athletes to come out too. Because even in these rah-rah times, when gays are praised for coming out, there are two institutions you won't find in the cheering stands—the Pope and pro football. ', Sports stars like WNBA player Sue Bird (right) and US soccer player Megan Rapinoe (left) have raised the profile of LGBT+ athletes and their inherent struggles. David Kopay has provided a serious sociological document." There's also a reassuring undertow of Eisenhower propriety to the NFL: the Paul Douglas and Van Heflin look-alikes who populate the front offices; the enduring usefulness of fat white men; the hearthside nuclear-family Sunday ritual. As Smith and Kopay dealt with their homosexuality in different ways, so did their teammates treat them differently. "Without sounding pompous, we were part of a new breed—not only openly gay and well-known but well-known for being openly gay," says Maupin. All rights reserved. Thomson Reuters Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales (registration number: 1082139). "I just don't think people understand the reality," said O'Callaghan. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Dave keeps a photo of him in a drawer in the spare room. It was easy to put that behind us. "Dave was, if anything, more identifiably jock than identifiably gay," says Maupin, recalling their time as roomies in San Francisco. "It made me proud to take my gruff old conservative father to meet a professional footballer who was just like me," Maupin says. ", Last August, at the Washington Redskins' training camp, Stephen Davis, a running back, taunted Michael Westbrook, a wide receiver, with what The Washington Post later referred to as "a homosexual reference." Dave bangs a sorority girl to fit in at his fraternity at the University of Washington; Dave finds himself drunkenly, furtively conjoining with his best frat buddy in a roadside motel; Dave is conquested by a female go-go dancer who invites him back to her hotel room, where she displays an array of lubricants with which she creates "all sorts of new and strange feelings, including those from a massage of my prostate"; Dave and his girlfriend get involved in a three-way with a male aide to a conservative southern congressman (Dave is more aroused by the man); Dave discovers gay bars; Dave is given a lucrative off-season junior-ecutive position on the condition that he "provide certain sexual favors" to his male boss; Dave enters into a short-lived sham marriage; Dave goes to a hypnotist to try to "cure" himself of homosexuality. 'I looked at Angus. And there is was, at the corners of that amazing smile, behind it, a certain touch of loneliness, a slight sadness, now there... visible and shared, and then suddenly cloaked and silenced by that football player toughness he has had to use his whole life to get by. "No," Angus said, "it is all his. I saw rainbow banners and flags held high, half-naked men in fabulous shoes, tattooed women in fabulous bras, some leather, some drunk people (sponsored by certain alcohol companies, of course), but I did not see one photo of a parade float filled with older gay people. He's a nice guy, with a mirthful, gabby way about him—"Would I do Troy Aikman on Sunset Strip?" But in major U.S. male sports leagues, progress has been slow. "I've kind of decided I wouldn't just go and be confrontational. "We can still get fired for being gay or denied services for being trans.". From award-winning writing and photography to binge-ready videos to electric live events, GQ meets millions of modern men where they live, creating the moments that create conversations. Interview with former NFL player David Kopay. This is borne out by a sad, telling episode involving Jon Jaqua, a defensive back. DAVID KOPAY FOOTBALL GAY ICON SHIRTLESS BEEFCAKE Photo. '", O'Callaghan's book, released days before the football season's kickoff, will help support the Ryan O'Callaghan Foundation. Farm Heroes Saga, the #4 Game on iTunes. "What could bust the whole thing," he says, "is if a Nike athlete comes out in a Nike ad. But the point is, we do have this athlete. Dave Kopay has pledged almost all of his personal estate, when he passes, to the support of the University of Washington's gay and lesbian center. ABC is a picnic': Conservatives erupt in anger after Savannah Guthrie grills Trump with a 'question every 12 seconds' - while ABC host 'forgets to ask Biden about his son Hunter's emails, Donald Trump says 'people can decide for themselves' if Osama bin Laden's body double was killed and says QAnon 'are strongly against pedophilia' as he is challenged on conspiracy theory tweets, 'Crazy uncle Donnie! In 2017, the league launched NFL Pride, an affinity group meant to support LGBT+ employees and create a more inclusive environment, but the move has not led to a wave of players opening up about their sexuality. B.) "I don't look to see if people are carrying a 'straight' card or a 'queer' card," he tells me scoldingly. He has worked with the NFL and partner charities that host youth outreach events and launched his own organization which aims to provide athletic scholarships and mentorship to young LGBT+ athletes. I was moved so greatly, I immediately shared it on Facebook, including a link to the video. (Mais oui, said lacquer-haired Anita, reasoning: "If 'Gay' is good, then more 'Gay' would be better, and all 'Gay' would be best. "I want to read it to her, to…" he searched for the words, so I added, "To show her the effect you have had by doing what you did." He knew — not that I was hiding. He knows what it's like to singularly bear the burden, to pay the price of ostracization from the game he loves. But luckily, Dave had scrawled his phone number on the top of the check. The first was David Kopay, now 77, who opened up about his sexuality in 1975, three years after retiring. John Brodie, the 49ers' star quarterback of the '60s, nicknamed him "Psyche" for his lunatic intensity on the field. It would become a cumbersome issue, dividing locker rooms between live-and-let-livers and God-squadders; it would elicit untold torrents of epithets from sauced fans in the stands and result in canceled endorsement contracts and ad nauseam media coverage. That's the level of provocation this athlete would have to endure. Surface. For a couple of years now, ESPN has been slowly, gingerly preparing a documentary on gays in sports, carefully approaching NFL figures on the rumored-to-be list. You see, the love of Dave Kopay's life, a college fraternity buddy, died while fighting in the Vietnam War. Kopay came out as gay after retiring from pro sports. O'Callaghan's book, released days before the football season's kickoff, will help support the Ryan O'Callaghan Foundation. ', As NFL veteran Ryan O'Callaghan told Reuters, gay players stay in the closet because, they believe, coming out could cost them sponsorships or even a roster spot. He was thrilled to meet Ian McKellen at a recent function; he can't get over how Eddie Murray is still a placekicker in the NFL—God, the guy must be like, 50. Kopay, then, is not naïve or wrong to try to effect change. He moved closer, this still-handsome, somewhat older man of about 70. I was stunned. I couldn't believe, as a 40-year-old gay man, that I didn't know who this man was. In 2017, the league launched NFL Pride, an affinity group meant to support LGBT+ employees and create a more inclusive environment, but the move has not led to a wave of players opening up about their sexuality. I was always being kidded about it by Walter Rock: Where you and Jerry going tonight? Westbrook, a young player with a reputation for volatility, became enraged and showered punches upon Davis, leaving him with multiple bruises and an eye swollen shut. Maybe that'll be more effective. "Yes, of course, the rooster," I finally blurted out. The hard answer is yes, it would, temporarily. JEREMIE ADKINS is an antiques dealer in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area. He was a demicelebrity back then, crisscrossing the country to make speeches, popping up on The David Susskind Show and Tom Snyder's Tomorrow, appearing in bookstores to sign copies of his bestselling autobiography, The David Kopay Story: An Extraordinary Self-Revelation. You're right. David Kopay Autographed Rookie Picture 8.5 By 11. The first was David Kopay, now 77, who opened up about his sexuality in 1975, three years after retiring. _The scene: The Mojave Desert. To the very man whose sacrifice meant so much to me, I was able to read aloud the words from my heart. A pause, and then his thoughts crystallize into a point: "People legitimately liked that guy. Tall, tan, vibrant, and well, just handsome. It will happen, the great uncloseting, only because it has to happen. But just as they did in the day of Jackie Robinson, human rights trump tradition. His voice shrinks; his body goes taut. I imagined all of those years of nonacceptance for doing what he knew he had to do, for coming out as a gay man, for coming out as a gay professional athlete.He looked at me. "I guess that's where I'm a failure. Reaching parents, particularly fathers, has become as important as mentoring young people, O'Callaghan said. I'm not a professional activist. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Where he is naïve, and has been for a long time, is in failing to realize how delicately these shoals of tradition must be navigated. This person would have to singularly bear the burden. "You have to explain to (young people), 'You're going to run into some ignorant people, but you've got to have faith that they'll catch up to the rest of the world and understand you are who you are,'" he said. One morning in camp, Jaqua, looking pale and flustered, approached Kopay and told him that Smith had hit on him the previous night. David Marquette Kopay (born June 28, 1942) is a former American football running back in the National Football League who in 1975 became one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay. I thanked him for his sacrifice. Find the perfect David Kopay stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. In 2014, player Michael Sam opened up about being gay before being drafted to the St. Louis Rams, but was ultimately cut from the team before playing a professional game. In the next couple of years, before his official coming out but after his homosexuality was common knowledge among former colleagues, Kopay wanted nothing more than to get into coaching—a not unreasonable goal for someone who had put ten years of service in the NFL.