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Report: Houston Oilers had two gay players in 1993, teammates didn’t care

Friday, December 27, 2013
Jim Mone, AP (File)The 1993 Houston Oilers team contained two gay members, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Jim Mone, AP (File)
The 1993 Houston Oilers team contained two gay members, according to the Houston Chronicle.

HOUSTON — Long before the question of whether the NFL is ready for an openly gay player, at least two key members of the tumultuous 1993 Houston Oilers team were gay, former teammates have told the Houston Chronicle.

“Not only did the team know about the situation,” the Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith reports, “but players accepted their gay teammates and did not outcast them.”

The unidentified players, who were not “out” publicly to fans, were referred to as “unbelievable teammates’ by former linebacker Lamar Lathon, and former cornerback Cris Dishman said having gay players in the locker room was “no big deal.”

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“Listen, those guys that we’re talking about were unbelievable teammates. And if you wanted to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first. Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys,” said Latho. “And everybody in the locker room, the consensus knew or had an idea that things were not exactly right. But guess what? When they strapped the pads on and got on the field, man, we were going to war with these guys because they were unbelievable.”

In April, NBA center Jason Collins became the first active athlete in any of the four major pro sports to announce he was gay. But Collins, now a free agent, hasn’t played for a team since the 2013-14 season began.

To date, no NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL athlete has ever publicly declared being gay while playing for a team.

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46 more reader comments:

  1. Because they know the true meaning “there is no I in Team!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:45pm
  2. And yet there is "me".

    Replied on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 5:33am
  3. There I An I in BIBLE. Homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of god. He will accept you as a child of him if you live this life. Change or regret.

    Replied on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 8:09am
  4. Wesley ... you are HILARIOUS ... thanks for the laugh.

    Replied on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 11:35am
  5. a team is a team. your sexual orientation has nothing to do w/ how you play out in the field. just have fun & play

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:46pm
  6. Hey… I have no problem with tight ends and wide receivers…

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:48pm
  7. Loved the Oilers.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:50pm
  8. Having gay players is one thing but were they out and open?

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:51pm
  9. they were out to their teammates. that's really all that matters.

    Replied on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:19pm
  10. Oilers, and now the Titans, have been my tram since I was 9. I’ve never been prouder to be their fan.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:52pm
  11. Team…not tram

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:52pm
  12. Nice to see it not make a difference to the team! Sad that the two men felt they wouldn’t be accepted in the publics view and had to hide it.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:56pm
  13. if they didn’t cared then, why should we care wether there are gay players on teams? it doesn’t really matter, everyone should get an equal chance and shouldn’t be judged upon being gay and in sports or in supporting it.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:57pm
  14. I hope they’ve brave enough to speak out.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:59pm
  15. OMG!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:59pm
  16. Professional sports in an industry of dishonest cowards.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:10pm
  17. exactly,people dont usually care,unless its a politician or the news media,individuals know the meaning of teamwork.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:10pm
  18. Let us hope it changes

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:11pm
  19. there are too many negative stereotypes surrounding gay men. straight men assume all gay men will try to hit on them, assume there is only a sexual dimension to gay men, blah blah blah. i don’t get it. personal insecurity? i’m straight, and i have tons of gay friends. they all know i’m straight and respect me enough not to hit on me. who cares if a gay guy has a crush on you? as a straight guy, you should feel flattered, not offended. just my two cents.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:16pm
  20. Who were they?

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:23pm
  21. I hate it when my comments (point of view) are taken the wrong way and I feel like I shouldn’t have said anything

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:26pm
  22. Ernest givens is one.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:29pm
  23. 20 years later we’re supposed to believe there were no issues with anyone. Bullshit.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 5:42pm
  24. If there were issues, I’m sure they would have come to light. Since we’re only hearing about it 20 years later, I’m thinking there weren’t any real issues with having gay teammates

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:10pm
  25. There’s a huge difference between acceptance and just not making a big deal of something. Sorry I’m a realist!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:13pm
  26. 99% of the straight men I know are NOT ok with gay men. Especially, in situations involving sports and locker rooms. Unfortunately!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:16pm
  27. Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:27pm
  28. Telling though that the openly gay ball player hasn’t played for a team since he came out…

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:38pm
  29. I’m sure every team had a gay player at one point or another…too bad they feel they have to stay hidden.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 7:59pm
  30. Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 8:19pm
  31. As a gay man, I can say that when I played football with my straight friends, the only “ball” that had my interest was made from pigskin; the one that you threw for a touchdown!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 8:32pm
  32. Are we this desperate for gay sports figures that we need to go back 20 years. This type of news is pathetic. It’s as bad as someone saying: they have a friend who has a friend that knows a gay person.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 8:37pm
  33. Awesome! I hope more pro athletes will come out of the closet!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9:22pm
  34. sexuality.. gender orientation is not a question!!

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9:31pm
  35. Matthew Martinez

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9:36pm
  36. That is so right that a team is a team.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 10:19pm
  37. Houston Oilers had gay teammates, no fucks given because reasons. More news at eleven.

    Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 11:44pm
  38. They played their positions at a professional level, or they didn’t … THAT was – and should be – the ONLY issue.

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 12:36am
  39. So did the NE Patriots in 1970 when the homophobic Sullivans owned them; moving the practices from UMass to Bryant College because of ‘ISSUES’, not necessarily with me. MORE than 2.

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 2:24am
  40. Ok soooo what’s the problem. .

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 3:20am
  41. why should they.

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 3:47am
  42. Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 5:46am
  43. Which God, there’s so many? Amen-Ra the sun god? Which one?

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 9:34am
  44. Wichtig ist Sport —Leistung und Nicht Wer Er Liebt

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 11:10am
  45. cool

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 4:20pm
  46. Why do people act as if this is the only sin listed in Bible?

    Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 5:06pm