RICHMOND, Va. — Kevin Grayson, a star wide receiver for the University of Richmond from 2008-2011, and one of the most decorated football players in Central Virginia history, has come out as gay.
In an exclusive interview with WTVR-TV in Richmond, Va., Grayson said he is putting an end to the secret he as carried for so long, because being closeted “eats away at you like its own cancer.”
In college, Grayson helped the University of Richmond Spiders win the Football Championship Subdivision national title in 2008, and while playing professionally in Italy last year he was named MVP of his league’s super bowl.
He said he was out to a few select teammates, but for the first time he is now telling the world:
“People didn’t believe it because I was an athlete” Grayson said in an exclusive interview with CBS 6.
“They’re like ‘Kevin plays football, he plays basketball he runs track. No way you know? Those are the types of things where if I could go back and say; ‘Why can’t I be an athlete? Why can’t I be a star player? Why can’t I be the guy making plays that helps my team win, and still on the flip side, be a gay male?’
Grayson has heard multiple slurs and homophobic insults from coaches and teammates, none of whom realized they had a gay player in their midst.
“[Sometimes] it’s just watching film” Grayson said.
“You know, it’s like ‘Stop being a princess, stop being a faggot,’ you know– ‘Homo!’”
“While you’re in the football aspect of it, no one is really thinking about it. Hyper-masculine sport. You have coaches that are, I guess, just naive to the fact that they could have a gay player in their meeting,” said Grayson. ”A couple of times I laughed at it. I thought it was funny to think about whether or not if I told this coach, what would they say?”
Grayson, who lives in Charlottesville, Va., said he’s in a relationship now, and that he did not come out while playing because he didn’t want to be known as the “gay player.”
He told WTVR-TV that he hopes his story can be an inspiration to others. “Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t be the athlete you want to be,” he said.