In 2013, a former associate of NFL safety Kerry Rhodes told some websites Rhodes was gay. The associate provided some photos to try to prove that was the case. Rhodes denied that he was gay.
Rhodes was a free agent, coming off a pretty good season in Arizona. He wasn't signed by any NFL team. Many people wondered if the rumors had anything to do with it.
There hasn't been any evidence of the two being correlated, but now that the league plans to welcome openly gay Michael Sam in this year's draft, Rhodes telling ESPNNewYork.com that he does not think he was held out of the league because of the rumors is noteworthy.
"I don't think I was blacklisted," Rhodes told ESPNNewYork.com. "Especially with the NFL I don't think they would do that ... to me it was a product of me wanting to do other things and not finding the right opportunity."
Rhodes said that money (he wasn't accepting a deal he didn't like) and other interests were the reasons he didn't get a job. He spent a lot of time working with his production company last year.
Rhodes said he still wants to play, and he doesn't turn 32 until August. Plenty of teams could use safety help, but it's rare to see a player get a decent contract after a year off of the game, and Rhodes made it clear in the interview that he would need the right opportunity to play again.
But if he doesn't play again he doesn't think it will be because of those rumors. And he denied once again in the ESPNNewYork.com interview that he was gay.
"I emphatically said no once and that's all I need to say and people who know me know that's definitely not the case," Rhodes said. "To me I'm definitely not and I can't control what people think, so I move on."
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