Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris acknowledged that he is gay in an interview with CNN. Harris' sexual orientation came to light in January when a report surfaced of an alleged altercation between Harris and a former boyfriend. He now wishes he would have been more open about being gay while he was playing in the NFL. The 49ers' 2003 first-round draft pick left football after the 2008 season. "I want people, whether gay athletes, athletes still in the closet, or youths who are not sure what their sexuality is to know those are common feelings," Harris told CNN. "Don't feel alone in having them." Harris encouraged athletes to express themselves but said the locker rook can be a difficult place to do so. He kept his feelings hidden because he feared the reaction. "You want to escape the despair and turmoil and your mind goes to dark places," Harris said. "I'm happy today, and I'm glad they were just ideas and I didn't act on any of them. "The cost was great (to) not speak candidly ... open about myself in complete manner. If I could have done it differently, I would have hoped I found the strength."
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