Ayanbadejo, who was given recognition along with Kluwe from former
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue at the event Thursday night, predicted
that more than one player may come out as gay during their playing
career. Ayanbadejo said the groundwork is being laid to reduce the
pressure on such a player, and said as many as four players could
conceivably come out simultaneously.
"I think it will happen sooner than you think," Ayanbadejo said.
"We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There
are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to
be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would
make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a
monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.
"Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the
backlash, it would be more positive. It's cool. It's exciting. We're in
talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations
are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if
something negative happens. We'll see what happens."
Ayanbadejo said he met with NFL vice president of player engagement
Troy Vincent on Thursday and may be asked to speak to incoming players
at the annual NFL rookie symposium about being sensitive toward the LGBT
community. Nothing has been scheduled yet, though.