Alan Gendreau Attempting to Become NFL's First Openly Gay Player

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IApril 23, 2013

Sep 3, 2011; West Lafayette, IN, USA;  Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders kicker Alan Gendreau walks off the field after his game tying field goal was blocked as time expired against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Aide Stadium. Purdue beat Middle Tennessee State 27-24.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL may soon have its first openly gay player. 

Earlier this month, Brendon Ayanbadejo, one of the NFL's most prominent gay rights supporters, told ESPN that a handful of players were considering coming out, but according to a report from Yahoo! Sports' Jay Busbee, kicker Alan Gendreau will take a different route.

Per Busbee:

Alan Gendreau is a former kicker for Middle Tennessee State, where he played with high distinction from 2008 to 2011. He was the leading scorer in Sun Belt Conference history, with 295 points over his career. He's also openly gay, and has been since age 15. And in what would be a groundbreaking move, he's hoping to play in the NFL.

Gendreau, who wasn't drafted last year, is hoping to convince teams to give him a shot at OTAs in the next couple of months. The chance of him earning an invite is low, but according to Busbee's report, many believe he has the talent to play in the NFL.

Should the former Blue Raider make a professional team, this would be the latest cleared hurdle in the fight for equality amongst individuals of all sexual orientations.  

In the month of April alone, we have seen UCLA head coach Jim Mora—the first college football coach at a major program to encourage the inclusion of gay athletes on his team—featured in the Bruins' "You Can Play" campaign.

We have also seen the NHL develop a new measure to support gay athletes, and one of the most dominant women's basketball players in the history of the sport come out

For an NFL team to judge a hopeful prospect on his football ability rather than his sexual preference would be a major step for gay rights in sports.

Gendreau may just be a kicker trying to make the league in the eyes of some, but should he succeed, he will have accomplished far more than that.