Is the NFL Blacklisting Kerry Rhodes Because He Might Be Gay?

The NFL player is talented and productive. But he's also unemployed. Deadspin wonders why.

By Jamilah King Sep 16, 2013

Free agent safety Kerry Rhodes was pretty much outed during the offseason, a fact that Deadspin blogger Drew Magary thinks is a big reason why he’s still out of a job. It’s a shame, Magary writes, because Rhodes is a really good football player:

This is a league that pays endless lip service to the idea that the best players play, regardless of skin color, politics, religion, whatever. If Rhodes’s sexuality is a nonissue for teams, then what else is wrong with him? What other explanation is there? Did his fucking legs fall off? There’s no indication that Rhodes is no longer interested in playing football. As recently as July, Rhodes said four teams were pursuing him. He has yet to file retirement papers. As a nine-year vet, Rhodes would be entitled to a league minimum of $840,000 under the current CBA: not cheap but not exorbitant. There’s no indication he is sitting around, expecting someone to hand him $30 million in guarantees. This is the NFL. If you’re on your couch and the league calls and offers you a job for the minimum, you go. Ask Brandon Jacobs.

It should be noted that Rhodes has insisted that he’s not gay. But if he remains jobless because of the rumors — along with the NBA’s out and proud Jason Collins, it would seriously question the idea that America’s male professional sports leagues are ready for an openly gay athlete.