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Tuaolo: There Are More Than 10 Gay Players In The NFL

Oct 30, 2009 5:57 PM EST

Esera Tuaolo, who came out of the closet after his NFL career ended, wasn't shocked by Larry Johnson's recent gay slur.

"It seems like every single season I'm getting phone calls about some athlete saying a gay slur, and using the word 'gay' and 'faggot' and 'homo' and 'queer' in such a negative term," Tuaolo said in an interview with the Kansas City Star.

"There are gay athletes in the NFL and in baseball and in the NHL ... it's so crippling to someone who is going to work knowing there is no support in their organization. What is also crippling to an athlete is hearing slurs like that thrown around like it's just the thing to do. When you use the term 'gay' or 'faggot' or 'queer' and you use it in a negative term, it's the same as calling a woman a 'bitch.' Or the same as calling an African-American the n-word. It's demeaning to another human being. And it's not right."

He estimates that there are more than 10 players in the NFL that are homosexual.

"I'm not going to tell you how many," he said. "The guys who are in contact with me ... and there are others who are anonymous."

Via Kansas City Star