Former Baltimore Raven’s linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has announced that as many as four current NFL players are set to come out. Ayanbadejo is a staunch supporter of same-sex equality in all of professional sports, using this past Super Bowl to express his views on gay rights and anti-bullying. According to Ayanbadejo, the four players are considering coming out at the same time. He explains multiple players coming out in this way, “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.” While there’s no question many teammates will be supportive, at least some may not be accepting and they need to be prepared for that. In athletics at all levels, derogatory gay phrases are as commonplace today as they were forty years ago. Last week while riding the bus I heard high school boys use the word faggot at least a dozen times on a ten minute ride. That isn’t going to change. It was the same conversation as when I was in high school. It’s no different than the hatred of Jews. Anti-Semitism will always exist. Professional sports for male athletes is as much about beautiful women and sex as the game itself. No where is the phrase “boys will be boys” more applicable than in the locker room and while you can teach sensitivity, you can’t deny anyone the right to free speech no matter how insensitive. The vast majority of straight professional athletes are not going to change their behaviors even if they do become more tolerant. Will this change if teammates come out? Maybe or maybe not. If these four players do come out and none follow, we’ll know it didn’t go well; not so much in the media, but where it counts, the locker room.