'Unconventional Wisdom': Tackling issues of inclusivity and sexuality in the NFL
Dave Kopay, Esera Tuaolo and Wade Davis, three football players who are openly gay, join Scott Fujita, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe to discuss the issues of sexuality and inclusivity in the NFL on this edition of Uncoventional Wisdom
From left, Wade Davis, Dave Kopay, Michael Sam, Chris Kluwe, Billy Bean and Brendon Ayanbadejo were together to celebrate Sam's announcement.
By Brendon Ayanbadejo
No matter what negative incident in the press may spur it, the NFL has had a tendency to move toward change. This is about that progress.
Inclusivity in the NFL has been a big issue recently with news of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation and NFL Draft hopeful Michael Sam'sannouncement that he is gay. Three openly gay former football players, Dave Kopay, Wade Davis and Esera Tuaolo, joined Scott Fujita, Chris Kluwe and me for a discussion on where the game of football is when it comes to this important social issue.
We are at a tipping point where everyone inside and outside the league will be looking at our game. All eyes and ears will be on the treatment of those in the workplace and the language we use in that space.
At one point in time, this arena had its own language and its own set of rules. This is no longer.
Listen to our dialogue in the "Unconventional Wisdom" podcast. It is a template of how those who didn't have a voice feel. Had we previously listened to Esera Tuaolo, had we heard what Dave Kopay had to say and had we addressed Wade Davis' feelings, the issues we are having today might not exist.
Now is the time to make this league safe for all of its employees.
This podcast is an open, honest forum on how diverse NFL employees are and what the employer can do to make their experience safer and more fulfilling. This is a chance to finally be proactive in the treatment of all players and workers.
Beyond the shield, this is a unique opportunity to see deeper into the player, past the jersey, through the face mask and into the hearts of the colossal, yet mortal, men who play the most popular game in America.
Professional football players, postal workers or police officers all have common goals, which include being able to live an honest life, pursue happiness, work hard for a decent living and share successes and failures with the ones they love.