Former NFL defensive lineman Esera
Tavai Tuaolo has posed for the NOH8 Campaign, which supports gay
rights causes, including ending California's gay marriage ban,
Tuaolo announced in 2002 that he's gay
on HBO's Real Sports after he retired from a 9-year career in
The 42-year-old Tuaolo played college
football at Oregon State University and was drafted by the NFL in
1991. He played with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers,
Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.
In 2006, he told NPR radio that he
feared being outed while playing in the NFL: “One of the biggest
fears that I was living with is that someone would see me on
television and might out me. So everything that I worked so hard for
since I was a little kid that would be all taken away or to support
my family. Just because society didn't accept who I truly was.”
The NOH8 Campaign, which is helmed by
photographer-activist Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley,
photographs celebrities and everyday folks with their mouths duct
taped and the campaign's familiar “NOH8” slogan often written on
Tuaolo posed in his photograph wearing
a white t-shirt and proudly displaying his 1999 Super Bowl ring.
This week, Carolina
Panthers linebacker Nic Harris also joined the campaign.