Former college football star Kevin Grayson and Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua are the latest sportsmen to come out as gay. Grayson, said to be one of Virginia’s most decorated football players, and Fonua, who represented Tonga at the 2012 Olympic Games both told their stories this week.
As a wide receiver, Grayson missed out on being drafted by an NFL franchise in 2011 due to a torn ligament. However, he played professionally in Italy last year, being named MVP of their league. He is ranked second all-time at the University of Richmond among receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns having helped the team win the 2008 Football Championship Subdivision national title.
“If I could go back and say; ‘Why can’t I be an athlete? Why can’t I be a star player? Why can’t I be the guy making plays that helps my team win, and still on the flip side, be a gay male?'” Grayson told CBS.
Though his sexuality remained hidden from coaches and all but a few trusted teammates, because of the culture existing within America’s favorite sport, Grayson said he’s sure there are currently gay NFL players. He admitted to knowing active gay players personally. However, he outlined “it’s one of those things where you meet someone and find out about something it’s a ‘you take it to the grave’ type thing.”
Meanwhile, Fonua was the 2012 ‘Big 12’ Champion in the 100 meter breaststroke and is a former captain at Texas A&M University. In an editorial, he defended his school which has been rated the “most conservative” university in the United States and the most “unfriendly LGBT” college among public universities.
“As a freshman, a captain took me aside to speak. He said that if anybody marginalized me because of who I was, he wanted to know about it immediately.” said Fonua.
“It’s safe to say that by and large we have a tolerant sport. I’ve managed to become an Olympian, a Conference Champion, and about to graduate from the most conservative university in America. I was voted by my peers as a Senior Team Captain because I was a leader. Don’t let anybody stop you from achieving your dreams,” he concluded.