NEW YORK — The National Football League (NFL) has been observing “LGBT History Month” throughout October, airing homosexual advocacy content on its NFL television network, publishing an op-ed on its Pride website and releasing a video PSA for “National Coming Out Day” in support of players who announce their inclination toward the sin of homosexuality.
“The LGBTQ+ community is an important audience for our sport and a critical part of the NFL family,” Jonathan Beane, NFL chief diversity officer, said in a statement. “We continually strive to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.”
The video, which features retired players who identify as homosexual or bisexual — Ryan O’Callaghan, Jeff Rohrer, R.K. Russell and Wade Davis — advises that they are supportive of any active NFL players who wish to come out. Current athletes, such as Anthony Barr, Rob Gronkowski, Deandre Hopkins and Dalton Risner, likewise express affirmation.
“To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we,” the men state. “I support you. … We got you.”
In addition to being posted to YouTube, the PSA reportedly aired during early-game Fox programming on Oct. 11.
Troy Vincent, the executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, penned an op-ed entitled “The NFL is Ready for Its First Openly Out Active Player.” While identifying himself as a Christian, Vincent went on to say that he is “committed to celebrate, support, and welcome” any player who comes out as homosexual, noting that such has not happened yet.
“The National Football League condemns homophobia. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our sport. There is no place for harassment, heteronormative language or ignorant terminology,” he wrote. “Our ‘It Takes All of Us’ mindset includes supporting and celebrating openly LGBTQ+ players and personnel as well as allies across the league.”
“Anyone in the player community who may be considering coming out, know this: Just as I have done with family members and close friends, I am committed to serving as a conduit to help you through that journey — either myself, in collaboration with my teammates at the league office, or through the many organizations with whom we partner on LGBTQ+ issues,” Vincent said.
NFL Network staff wore purple on Thursday to mark Spirit Day, which addresses bullying of homosexual youth, and the organization released a rainbow logo in observance of “LGBT History Month.”
Homosexual-themed programming also has been airing on the network throughout the month, including the broadcasts “Jeff Rohrer: Trailblazer,” “Esera Tuaolo: Life After Football,” and “Vince Lombardi: Ally.”
The NFL says that it has additionally expanded its partnerships with the advocacy groups GLAAD and The Trevor Project.
While a common argument among those who struggle with feelings toward the same sex is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all are born with the Adamic sin nature (Romans 5:19), having various inherent feelings and inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves (Job 14:4).
All men, therefore, face the same predicament, being natural lawbreakers and guilty in the sight of God (Romans 3:19), evoking His wrath.
“[W]e all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3 outlines.
“All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way,” Isaiah 53:6 reads, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
It is why Jesus came: to do what men could not do for themselves, to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Scripture outlines that Jesus came to be the propitiation for men’s sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10), a doctrine in Christianity known as substitutionary atonement, and to save men from the wrath of God for their violations against His law (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:16), a doctrine known as justification.
Acts 2:38-40 exhorts, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The Bible also teaches about regeneration, as in addition to sparing guilty men from eternal punishment, Christ sent his Holy Spirit to make those who would repent and believe new creatures in the here and now, with new desires and an ability to do what is pleasing in the sight of God by His indwelling and empowerment (Ezekiel 11:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5).
In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God promises, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.”