Openly gay NFL draft prospect, Alan Gendreau, made history on Monday, telling reporters that he is, in fact, a kicker. “It’s not something I can change and I’ve known this my entire life,” said the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider, who has been openly gay since he was 15. “Life sometimes throws you a curve ball, but you have to just deal with it and love what you are: a person who kicks footballs.”
Despite looking like he might be a quarterback or something, rumors began to circulate about his position after Gendreau became the Sun Belt Conference’s all-time points leader (295) without anyone having seen him throw a single pass.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.
Just last month, former New York Giants’ special teamer, Jeff Feagles, told Kick! magazine that he had been in talks with “3 or 4 players who [were] privately discussing revealing their position in the near future.”
“It’s high time this country let go of its archaic notions about which body parts should or shouldn’t touch the ball,” Feagles said, adding that a kicker/punter is “no different than the other 50 guys out there.”
“I mean, with a much tinier helmets, soccer cleats and Danish modern-inspired minimalist facemasks, sure, but it’s not like we’re coaches or something.”
An anonymous, league-wide poll conducted last season asked players if they would be comfortable sharing a locker room with someone they knew to be failed college soccer player masquerading as a football player. The results were mixed, with 43% of players expressing apprehension while 31% outwardly disapproved of it. The remaining 6% were unsure, as the questionnaire was the first time they had even heard of the position.
“God put laces on the ball so you could grip it,” Hall-of-Fame linebacker, Ray Lewis, tweeted Tuesday night. “Last time I checked, feet don’t have fingers.”
Other vocal opponents have labeled the position a “fetish” and “an unnatural way to score points.”
“Listen, we know they’re there,” said San Francisco 49ers cornerback, Chris Culliver, who refuses to accept the validity of single-point scoring plays. “I just don’t understand why they have to make it our business, forcing us come out onto the field after a touchdown because those guys want to rub their playing style in our faces.”
Despite the sizeable opposition to players like Gendreau, the overwhelming trend suggests the NFL community is loosening up to the idea of kickers freely expressing themselves. “I don’t want any special treatment just because I’m different,” said Gendreau, who has dates a man named Roger when he’s not playing football. “It’s not like I’m going to start recruiting teammates to placehold for me!”
“What I do on 4th down and twice after touchdowns doesn’t define me and doesn’t define the game.”
When reporters asked if he thought of himself as a hero, Gendreau smiled.
“Let’s put it this way — for all those kids out there sneaking into backyard to kick footballs between trees — they should know that it gets better.”