Ok, I’ll give Jonathan Vilma this – he stepped up to this interview, answered the questions, and apologized for his inartful wording of a few weeks ago when he said he wouldn’t know what to do should he find himself showering with an openly gay player.
Last month, the New Orleans linebacker said of a hypothetical openly gay NFL player:
“I think he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted. I don’t want people to just naturally assume, oh, we’re all homophobic. That’s really not the case. Imagine if he’s the guy next to me, and you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me, how am I supposed to respond?”
All this from the man who once tweeted: “Grown men should NOT have female tendencies. Period.”
Today, Vilma sees things in a different light. Today Vilma says, “As
long as he can play football, I’m A-OK with it,” he said “It doesn’t
bother me at all.”
All that aside, perhaps tonight Vilma sees the writing on the wall. Maybe he sees that Michael Sam, named Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC, voted “most valuable player” by his teammates, who helped lead his team to 12-2 and the Cotton Bowl title, can be a productive player in the NFL.
As the saying goes – “If you can play, you can play.”
As always, great to see NFL kicker Chris Kluwe add the voice of reason and reality to the discussion. He’s been there, he’s seen what happens in the locker room on this subject and he’s still “in it” as an ally for the LGBT community.
I’m hoping to see him back on the field next season doing what he does well in the NFL.