Some of the players from the 1993 Houston Oilers football team were reportedly gay, according to several players who were once on the team. Although everyone on the team knew about the gay players, most of them thought it was no big deal and didn’t care.
Many remember the Oilers as the team that infamously lost a playoff game to the Buffalo Bills after leading 28-3 at halftime. It is also remembered as being one of the most “inclusive families” in sports.
“I really enjoyed playing on that team, to be honest with you,” five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Ray Childress said.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle on December 26, it was revealed that at least two players on the pro team were gay.
“Those guys that we’re talking about were unbelievable teammates,” former Oilers linebacker Lamar Lathon told the Chronicle. “And if you want to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first. Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys.”
Players confirmed a rumor that had been hinted at during an earlier era of the famous team’s career. “Everybody knew certain guys [were gay],” former Oilers cornerback Cris Dishman revealed in the Chronicle interview. “Everybody speculated and people used to see these two guys come in by themselves. They’d leave at lunchtime and then come back.”
Dishman, a two-time Pro Bowler also noted the gay players’ big contribution to the team without leaking the players’ identities. According to Dishman, the gay players were highly valued on the field and showering with them in the locker room was “no big deal.”