Tony Casillas: I had gay teammates on '90's Cowboys
MAY 01, 2013 5:52p ET
"I know that I played with homosexual players and I knew this when I was playing," Casillas told the New School show Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "There's a certain amount of intimacy in the locker room. I'm not talking in a personal way, but intimacy as far as working hard and being that close together, as far as accomplishing something on the football field. The problem is this society. That's why I applaud Jason Collins for coming out. Being a professional athlete people expect you have this shield around you where you can't pretty much show your true nature, if you will, and your feelings and I think for him to be able to do that — I think there may be a domino effect with this.
"There's a stat that shows one out of so many guys are homosexual. I had no problem with that because I knew that. I knew lining up next to the guy. We all have questions, but to me that didn't matter because the common goal was how we performed. It didn't matter. Another thing, it's like if you're black and I'm Hispanic, it's OK to go in the locker room and make fun of a guy for being Hispanic but if he's a homosexual you just don't go there."
The No. 2 pick in the 1986 draft went on to say that he felt sorry for the teammates he played with that had to keep their sexuality a secret. And Casillas said he thinks players are more accepting to having a gay teammate today than some may think, suggesting that if there was an anonymous NFL poll conducted that he'd be surprised if it didn't favor players not caring if a teammate was gay.
"I would guarantee that," Casillas said. "People don't understand that even though you're this gladiator athlete, even though that you're supposed to be bulletproof, guys in that locker room, they don't care as long as you're doing your job. And the coaches, they could care less. There's a lot more dysfunctional things that go on in that locker room than a guy being gay."
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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