NFL Player Apologizes for Gay Shower Comments
Jonathan Vilma, linebacker for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, came under fire last week for saying he wouldn't like having to shower with his teammates if one of them was openly gay (just days before NFL draft prospect Michael Sam dominated the news Sunday for coming out) but clarified his statements Monday on Anderson Coopers' "AC360" on CNN.
In an interview with the NFL Networks' Andrew Kramer, Vilma voiced his concerns about having an openly gay teammate and how he would impact the culture in the locker room.
"I think he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted," he said. "I don't want people to just naturally assume, oh, we're all homophobic. That's really not the case. Imagine if he's the guy next to me, and you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me, how am I supposed to respond?"
But it looks like the athlete is doing a bit of backpedaling, perhaps in light of Sam's groundbreaking announcement. Vilma appeared on "AC360" Monday night to explain himself, Towleroad points out.
"It was a poor illustration of the example I was trying to give on the context, so I do apologize for that," he said before adding, "I was trying to explain that whenever you have change into something that's been set in stone for so long, something that's been going for so long, that change always comes with a little resistance."
This isn't the first time Vilma has been in trouble for anti-gay rhetoric. In 2011 the athlete wrote a controversial tweet: "Grown men should NOT hav [sic] female tendencies. Period."
After writing the tweet, the backlash ensued. Nevertheless, he attempted to defend himself, writing, "So of course the homosexual men get sensitive to my tweet and respond all ticked off. RELAX I was not referring to u guys."
Watch Vilma on "AC360" below: