Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has been a supporter of gay rights, said Wednesday night that the NFL will have its first openly gay player by 2014.
"I think it's going to happen really soon ... In the next year or the following year," Ayanbadejo said on MSNBC's The Ed Show. "I feel like we're going to see our Jackie Robinson, our pioneer for gay rights and equality and we're going to be there to support that player and make sure he has a support group around him."
The subject of gay players in the NFL has arisen this after Colorado tight end Nick Kasa said his sexuality was questioned by a number of NFL teams. Such questions are illegal under federal labor laws.
Ayanbadejo said it might be better for a draft prospect to lie if he he is asked if he liked girls, as Kasa said he was asked.
"Selfishly, I think players need to say that they're straight right now," Ayanbadejo said. "You need to get drafted as high as you can get drafted, get the money while you can, your career's only going to last 3.5 years."
"The way things are going right now with the bigotry that still exists and discrimination that still exists within the locker room and sports arena in general, I think you need to say, 'Hey, I'm straight. I love women.' And keep things so-called normal," Ayanbadejo said. "Maybe later, once you've established yourself and when we break down some of these walls in the NFL, players will be more comfortable to be who they are."