In 1997, Brian Sims helped lead his high school (and, in the interest of full disclosure, mine) to the Pennsylvania State AAAA football Championship. In 2000, he was named an All-American defensive lineman and helped lead Bloomsburg University to its first ever national championship game.
Brian’s since graduated from law school and has become a practicing lawyer in Philadelphia who serves on the Board of Directors for Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia. Since first telling the story of playing football as an openly gay man to OutSports.com, Brian’s received thousands of emails from both out and closeted athletes, all wanting to talk about the terrifying concept of not only coming out, but doing so in arguably the most macho setting possible.
And really, it’s hard to downplay how intimidating and downright discouraging it must be for a gay athlete to even contemplate coming out to their teammates. For every Brendan Ayanbadejo (a vocal supporter of gay marriage equality) there’s Larry Johnson. For every survey that finds that nearly 3/4 of professional baseball players would have no problem with a gay teammate, there’s bigoted assclowns like Todd Jones. (Seriously. Ugh.)
So how did Brian Sims’ teammates handle it? By not giving a damn.