Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin is on the newest cover of Out Magazine speaking out against homophobia in professional sports. When Irvin was 12- years old him and his dad discovered his brother was gay when he saw him dressed in woman’s clothing, “My dad looked back at me and said, ‘Yes, that’s your brother. And you love your brother.” Irvin’s close relationship with his brother has influenced him to help fight discrimination against the gay and lesbian community, ”I’m not gay, but I was afraid to even let anyone have the thought. I can only imagine the agony—being a prisoner in your own mind — for someone who wants to come out. If I’m not gay and I am afraid to mention it, I can only imagine what an athlete must be going through if he is gay.”
Irvin won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboy in the 90s. Playing along side greats Emmet Smith and Deion Sanders, Irvin believes his team would’ve welcome a gay teammate. “I believe, if a teammate had said he was gay, we would have integrated him and kept moving because of the closeness. [...] We had a bunch of different characters on that team. Deion [Sanders] and Emmitt [Smith]. I believe that team would have handled it well.”
Irvin joins fellow athletes Ben Cohen, Hudson Taylor, Mike Chabala, and Nick Youngquest who are also interviewed in the magazine, in which Out calls small band of straight sports stars,”If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him!” Irvine said.