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Kwame Harris

In Spring 2013, former NFL player Kwame Harris publicly spoke about his sexuality for the first time in an interview with CNN. He came out to his family as a teen and says he partly chose to play at Stanford because he idealized the possibilities, saying, "I thought I'd come out to San Francisco, this haven for gay people, and I would spread my wings and everything would be great." Although he came close to coming out, he didn't — not until after he and an ex-boyfriend got in a public fistfight and his sexuality came into the media spotlight.

Since then, Harris said he's "relieved" to join the list of former athletes who have come out. "I'm just a number now, and we need to have numbers." He added, "No one was telling me not to come out, but the implicit rules are much stronger than the explicit ones — the shame implied by secrecy. I don't want other gay athletes to feel this way."

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