Schneiderman to NFL: Embrace the Rainbow

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the LGBT movement and the National Football League (NFL) today announced new efforts underway within the NFL to “promote a culture of inclusion” and protect any gay players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.

Schneidermann’s plan includes a requirement to post posters in NFL locker rooms conveying the NFL’s anti-discrimination policies. It is not clear what those posters will look like or how prominent they will be.

Schneidermann said, “My office is committed to ensuring equal protection under the law for all employees and job applicants no matter where they work, and I applaud the NFL for working cooperatively with our office to address these issues.”

Culture warriors have been working to soften up the image of the NFL in recent years, fighting the traditional football culture which arguably has been a haven of “homophobia” and misogyny. Breast cancer awareness groups have cajoled many of the gladiator-like athletes to wear pink shoes for the entire month of October.

There has never been an openly declared gay professional athlete in the United States in any of the four major sports leagues: football, baseball, hockey and basketball. There are about 4,000 active professional athletes at any given time in those sports, so if the rate of LGBT frequency is similar among this pool to the overall population, there is about 40 to 120 (1 to 3 percent) self-identified LGBT athletes at any given time.