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NFL drama Necessary Roughness to explore gay player coming out

Art will imitate life and the debate over how the world of American Football would accept an openly gay player when NFL drama Necessary Roughness fictionalizes a pro-player coming out
Travis Smith, the fictional player who will come out

NFL drama Necessary Roughness, which screens on the USA Network in the United States, will explore what would happen if a professional footballer was to come out as more and more players come forward to say they would be accepted and that it would not matter to them.

The show, which is filming its third season, is about a single mother who lands a job as the therapist for a fictional NFL team and how she helps their staff and players out with her brand of tough-love help.

The show will dedicate two one hour episodes to the story of the team’s star quarterback, Rex Evans (played by actor Travis Smith), coming out to his team and then coming out publicly.

Necessary Roughness was inspired by the life of its co-executive producer Donna Dannenfelser who worked as an in-house therapist for the New York Jets during the 1990’s.

Dannenfelser told Buzzfeed about the show and what she believed had changed about the NRL culture since her time with the Jets.

‘Our players now are much younger,’ Dannenfelser said.

‘They're 22 to 30 years old. These guys have been brought up in a world of tolerance. I honestly think — and it's reflected in the show — that there are going to be some that care, some that don't, some that hate, and some that say, "Can you get us to the Super Bowl?”

The episodes have been shown by the network to Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe, who has been one of the most vocal advocates for LGBT rights from the NFL world, and he's given them his seal of approval.

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