Are Gay Rumors Prohibiting NFL Player From Getting Signed?
NFL safety Kerry Rhodes is a free agent but is still unsigned as the NFL enters the second week of the season. Yahoo Sports' Jay Busbee suggests that the athlete may not be signed because he was subjected to gay rumors this past summer, which Rhodes has up and down denied.
In June, Rhode's sexual orientation was called into question when a former male assistant posted photos and videos of the two "hanging out" together.
"If that man don't own up, I will own up for him! He's denying me, but we're looking like the Black Brokeback Mountain starring me and Kerry in some of our pics," the assistant told Bossip. "How is he STILL denying me?!?! I'm going to have to drag that azz out the closet then!"
Things got even weirder a few days after Kanye West and Kim Kardashian gave birth to their daughter. Rhodes, 30, allegedly texted his friends and told them that he could be the baby daddy.
"Man this could be my baby!! I was f*cking her the same time as K.West was lol!!!" he allegedly wrote. It could be true - the two are apparently friends. But "friends" of the athlete spoke out to Bossip and told a different story:
"Kerry wants everyone to think he's straight," the source said. "He is so desperate that he will drag Kim Kardashian and Kanye West into this drama just so people can associate him with a woman instead of a man. It's just sad at this point because everyone knows he's gay..."
In April, Rhodes told TMZ that he is straight and denied gay rumors.
"Photos have been circulating of my former assistant and I that have caused some rumors regarding my sexuality, and I wanted to address the situation," he said. "I am not gay. The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team."
Busbee points out in his article for Yahoo Sports that Rhodes started all 15 games when he played for the Arizona Cardinals last year, "and during that time recorded 58 tackles and nine assists. He also had four interceptions and forced two fumbles. That's not bad. In fact, it's not-bad enough that Pro Football Focus ranked him the fourth-best safety in the NFL in 2012," Busbee wrote. He adds that the football player is the only "still-unretired player in PFF's top 30 from 2010 who doesn't have a job."
Busbee says that it's possible he's unsigned because he's "on the wrong side of 30" and his skills could be going down the drain at this point in his life. It could also be because he's "indulged in the kind of celebrity lifestyle - magazine covers, red carpets, television appearances --- that make the no-life-but-football types spit nails." He notes that Rhodes may be asking for too much money as he apparently declined a $3 million guaranteed deal by the Cardinals. But those offers came in March, a month before Rhodes was smacked by gay rumors.
"[T]hose rumors surfaced in April, and Rhodes has received no interest since then," Busbee wrote. "Regardless of the truth of those rumors, NFL teams are generally loath to associate themselves with anyone with even a remote hint of public controversy. (There are exceptions, of course, but those are generally made for Hall of Fame-level players.)"
Rhodes is scheduled to talk with officials from the Giants, where he could be offered a one-year minimum of $840,000.