TAG | Bret Lockett
While the NFL is in the midst of the current locket, New England Patriots safety Bret Lockett is keeping busy. Today, he added his name and likeness (click for full size image) to the list of athletes to pose for and support the NOH8 Campaign.
Beyond merely posing, he’s fully embracing the role of ally.
First, he has changed his Twitter (@BretLockett26) user icon to his NOH8 photo. You should probably follow him on Twitter for that reason alone.
Second, he spoke with Outsports about his feelings regarding bullying, gay rights, and what it would be like for a football player to come out.
Since Outsports mixed in some direct quotes and paraphrased quotes, I can’t think of a better way to pass along the message than a simple copy and paste:
(Outsports in italics; Lockett’s direct quotes in bold.)
Lockett, also a part-time model who’s launching a music career, told Outsports he wanted to be part of the NOH8 campaign because he was bullied in high school.
It’s a sad thing. And it’s not just being gay. There are kids who kill themselves for being a nerd or being fat. There’s not enough support in life today. We need to start lifting people up instead of trying to bring them down.
He feels the solution to bullying is helping kids understand the beauty of differences and the power their words have. Because he was bullied he is now, at 24, able to put himself in the shoes of others and understand their pain better; That’s the key to stop the bullying, he said.
Beyond the general cause of bullying, Lockett is squarely on the side of equality for gay people.
They definitely think they should have the right to marry. They’re not affecting anybody else. I know it bothers some people to see two people of the same sex together, but you shouldn’t deny them the chance to become one and get married. There are a lot of people who will never find a mate, gay or straight. I don’t knock it.
Locket said through his modeling and music he’s gotten to know a lot of gay people. It was tough at first, particularly with some guys hitting on him. But as he got to know more gay people and understand them, he said his comfort with them came quickly.
His personal thoughts on a gay teammate reflect what we’ve heard before: If you can play, you can stay.
If he makes our team better, I couldn’t care less what he does off the field. If he’s a good player, I dno’t knock anybody’s talent. That’s like saying we’re not going to hire him because he’s gay. It’s all about winning in the corporate world or the sports world.
His perception of how that gay player would be received also reflect the “If you can play you can stay” mentality. On the one hand, he said it would be extremely difficult for someone to come out in the Patriots locker room.
Football is a very masculine sports. It’s look at as a gladiator sport. If someone said they were gay, a lot of guys wouldn’t be comfortable playing with him. You have to shower with them, you have to get dressed next to them, and a lot of guys wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
However, when asked what would happen if Tom Brady were gay and came out to the team, Lockett said that changed the conversation.
It’s tough to answer that question because he’s such a great player. He’s such a great player, it would bother people but they would accept it. If it was somebody in the background or who wasn’t a star on the team I think it would be looked at a lot differenlty. But with a star like that, it’s different.
He said he used to hear “faggot” tossed around the football field in high school, but he simply doesn’t hear the word anymore. He’s much more likely to hear players call each other “bitch” than “faggot.”