Five openly straight professional
athletes – Ben Cohen, Michael Irvin, Hudson Taylor, Nick Youngquest
and Mike Chabala – talk gay rights in the latest issue of gay
A shirtless Irving graces the cover of
the magazine's sports issue.
his profile, the NFL Hall of Famer talks about his late brother,
who was gay, and how his sexual orientation was not discussed in the
family, and relates a story about how he found out his brother was a
Driving with his father at the age of
12, they came upon his older brother Vaughn walking down the street
wearing women's clothes.
“My dad looked back at me and said,
'Yes, that's your brother. And you love your brother,'” Irving
Irving added that he's ready to support
an openly gay professional athlete.
Cohen retired from playing rugby in the
UK earlier this year to head his anti-homophobia campaign, the Ben
Cohen Stand Up Foundation.
“The time is right now to retire from
rugby and follow my new passion,” Cohen said during a videotaped
interview. “People have the right to be happy and, you know, to be
loved and love others.” (The video is embedded in the right panel
of this page.)
Twenty-seven-year-old Houston Dynamo
Mike Chabala posed last year for the NOH8 Campaign, which raises
awareness and funds for gay rights causes.
He told the magazine that he would
support an openly gay soccer player.
“The treatment of gay people isn't a
liberal or conservative issue,” he
said, “it's a human rights issue.”
Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest
also talked about supporting an openly gay teammate. The six-foot
player with a huge gay following added that he
believes in marriage equality: “I don't see any reason why gay
people shouldn't be able to marry. I think it should be a union of
two people in love. Why not?”
Columbia University wrestling coach
Hudson Taylor is doing more than talking; he started Athlete
Ally to fight homophobic speech in sports.
“There are a lot of ways you can be
an ally, but for what I'm aiming at in sports, it's a pretty simple
equation: making the sports community more respectful simply by being
conscious of your words,” Taylor
told the magazine.