Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo told
Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday that he came out gay for his family.
The 49-year-old Tuaolo played defensive
tackle in the NFL for ten years. In 2002, after retiring from
sports, Tuaolo announced his sexuality on HBO's Real Sports.
He has two children, twins Mitchell and Michele.
This week, Tuaolo was eliminated from
NBC's singing competition The Voice.
During an appearance on DeGeneres'
daytime talk show, Tuaolo talked about coming out and performed for
“I was completely closeted the whole
time [I was in the NFL]. None of the players knew,” Tuaolo
said. “And when I came out back in 2002, it was more so to
find some happiness. And also we came out for our kids, our
children, 'cause we were tired of living in the closet and we wanted
everyone to know that we were a family. And a lot of the stuff that
a lot of my straight friends sort of took for granted, I wanted. And
that's one of the biggest reasons we came out.”
Tuaolo added that he knows of a lot of
gay players in the NFL but does expect any will come out during their