2013 NFL Rookie Symposium to feature speakers on sexual orientation

Scott Halleran

The 2013 NFL Rookie Symposium will include speakers on sexual orientation in the NFL, for the first time ever.

The 16th NFL Rookie Symposium will include guest speakers on the subject of sexual orientation, according to Jane McManus of ESPN New York. This will be the first time that the league has people talking to rookies about the possibility of having gay teammates, likely due to how much media attention the subject has received of late.

Typically, the Rookie Symposium is a series of videos and workshops to help players get accustomed to life in the NFL, including things like money management, professionalism (which probably amounts to not making a fool out of yourself or the league in the media) and the best ways to keep one's body up to the grueling task of consistent NFL play.

Last season, the topic of having gay players in the NFL came up many times, and it was a disaster from a PR standpoint more than once. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver stated "I don't do that," when asked about having a gay teammate in the locker room, before releasing an apologetic statement after the media backlash.

Many have been wondering if an NFL player will come out as openly gay. It seems inevitable at this point, and there will certainly be players uncomfortable with it, but with the NFL urging its rookies to be tolerant -- the newest collective bargaining agreement forbids harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation -- the league might gradually become more and more accepting of such a prospect.

The NFL Rookie Symposium begins on June 23, and you can find more information here.

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