During the 1993 season, the National Football League’s Houston Oilers went on a remarkable 11 game winning streak before a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs.
It has just been revealed that at least two of the players on the team that season were gay, that many of their teammates knew about it, and they did not care.
The gay players are not named in a Houston Chronicle article previewed today , several days ahead of its publication on Sunday (29 December).
‘Listen, those guys that we’re talking about were unbelievable teammates,’ said Pro Bowl linebacker Lamar Lathon.
‘ … If you wanted to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first,’ Lathon said. ‘Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys. And everybody in the locker room, the consensus knew or had an idea that things were not exactly right. But guess what? When they strapped the pads on and got on the field, man, we were going to war with these guys because they were unbelievable.’
Cris Dishman, a two-time Pro Bowler, said it was simply ‘no big deal.’
‘Everybody knew certain guys (were gay),’ Dishman said. ‘Everybody speculated and people used to see these two guys come in by themselves. They’d leave at lunchtime and then come back.’
Despite this acceptance 20 years ago, no active NFL player has ever come out during their playing career and less than a handful have come out in retirement.