NFL Commish Roger Goodell says ‘if any member of the NFL family comes out’ they will be supported


Longtime NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell essentially acts as the face of the most popular sport in the U.S.

One of Goodell’s main responsibilities is navigating any issues the league may encounter. Currently, Goodell is focused on the NFL’s Sunday Ticket lawsuit, in which fans allege the league violated antitrust laws by selling its product at an inflated cost. Goodell took the stand and testified earlier this week.

During Goodell’s tenure, the NFL has also made concerted efforts to embrace the LGBTQ+ community.

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Roger Goodell speaks to the media

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell listens to a question during a news conference ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 5, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Over the years, Goodell has pubicly shared stories about his brother Michael, who identifies as gay.

“I love Michael and I’m proud of him,” Roger said via Outsports.

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According to the outlet, the NFL has an estimated 16 current or former players who have publicly come out as gay or bisexual.

Roger Goodell speaks at podium

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the NFL Draft at Union Station on April 27, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars assistant strength and conditioning coach Kevin Maxen is the league’s first openly gay coach.

“I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am with the Jags and as part of the NFL at large. When I wanted to come out more publicly, I was connected to a lot of people who were willing to help,” Maxen told Men’s Health.

Super Bowl in February 24

Commissioner Roger Goodell attends a Super Bowl Host Committee handoff news conference on Feb. 12, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Goodell noted that the league will be supportive “if any member of the NFL family comes out.”

“Both publicly and privately, I’ve made clear that if any member of the NFL family comes out, we will have their back,” Goodell said.

Goodell also spoke about two partnerships the NFL has formed.

“After Carl Nassib came out, we partnered with Carl and The Trevor Project on a marketing campaign called ‘Football is for everyone,'” Goodell said, “boosting awareness of this lifesaving organization.” Nassib shared a statement on his social media platform in 2021 announcing that he is gay. He last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022.

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Goodell also touted the success of the Super Bowl’s Pride night events.

“Our Super Bowl Night of Pride events with GLAAD have been powerful. Creating a space for the LGBTQ community and allies during our biggest week sends a message that we value inclusion and opportunity for all.”

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