David Kopay
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David Kopay

David Marquette Kopay (born June 28, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American football running back in the National Football League who in ... More »David Marquette Kopay (born June 28, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American football running back in the National Football League who in 1975 became one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay. Kopay attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He entered the University of Washington in 1961 and became an All-American running back in his senior year. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers. He played professional football from 1964 to 1972. After he retired from the NFL, he was considered a top contender for coaching positions, but he believes he was snubbed by professional and college teams because of his sexual orientation. He went to work as a salesman/purchaser in his uncle's floorcovering business in Hollywood. He is also a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation. His 1977 biography, The David Kopay Story, written with Perry Deane Young, offers insights into the sexual proclivities of heterosexual football players and their... [ Wikipedia ]

Q&A with Missouri star and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam

Sam: I had the privilege to talk to David Kopay. He was the first openly gay athlete. He had very inspiring words and great advice. He made me feel that I can do this. It was just so great that I had a chance to get to know him. SI: When you came out to your team in August, what was that like? ...

Incremental Progress for Gay Athletes

Here are some milestones from the last four decades : 1975 David Kopay, a former professional football player, publicly acknowledges that he is gay in a Washington Star article. Three years after retiring from the sport, he becomes the first N.F.L. player to come out. “It took me a long ...

‘This will answer every question we have’

... pick, but Zeigler and others in Sam’s support group — which includes former NFL players who have advocated for gay rights Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo as well as David Kopay, who became the first NFL player to come out following his career, in 1977 — believe he should get the chance to play...

Out of Bounds: For 20 years, gay soccer player David Testo lived a closeted life. In November, he de...

While the rest of us are still left waiting for that first out active pro athlete, I’m left with the words of out former NFL player David Kopay said to me this summer. Kopay’s been waiting longer than anyone else for that big announcement. But with all the youth coming out in high ...

San Francisco Preps for Pride « CBS San Francisco

This year’s benefit run, which features a 5- and 10-kilometer race followed by an awards ceremony for top finishers and a breakfast, will include former San Francisco 49ers running back David Kopay, 69, giving an inspirational talk to runners. Kopay was one of the nation’s first ...

The ‘circus’ around Michael Sam should die down quickly

Just ask David Kopay, the former University of Washington running back who in 1975 became the first professional team sport athlete to declare his homosexuality. That declaration came three years after Kopay’s retirement from a nine-year NFL career. The fact that Sam was empowered ...

2 related stories

BBC News Michael Sam story: NFL comes out of 'dark ages' on gay players

Before coming out publicly as a gay man earlier this month, Michael Sam had dinner in Los Angeles with David Kopay. The former running back came out as a gay man in 1975 - three years his last season in the league. Kopay says secretly being a gay man in the NFL was traumatic, like ...

Former Pro Football Player Reflects on Brokeback Romance with Teammate

As his one-time lover and teammate David Kopay explains, "I thought this was really good. At least I was sharing something of myself with someone who's close and understood all that I had been through and understood so much of what we hoped for would come. And that's where we left it. " ...

Celebrating gay pride month: Out athletes

Another pioneer is NFL star David Kopay. He played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1964 - 72 and came out in 1975. He was on track to be a professional coach but believes his honesty about his sexual orientation derailed that career. Kopay is the first of only four NFL players to ...

Michael Sam’s father had strong reaction to news his son is gay

David Kopay, Wade Davis and Bill Bean were there, along with Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, two former NFL players who have been outspoken in their support of gay rights. Kopay, a 71-year-old former running back who played college football at Washington, reminded Sam if they ...

2 related stories

Wade Davis, gay former NFL player, reflects on Michael Sam coming out

The dinner included several leaders from the LGBT sports community: former major league baseball player Billy Bean, who came out after he retired; David Kopay, a former NFL player who is gay; Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, two former NFL players and LGBT advocates; Outsports.com ...

Openly gay player Jason Collins signs with Brooklyn Nets

After retiring from professional football in 1972, David Kopay acknowledged to the Washington Star that he was gay. Villanova University's Will Sheridan came out to his teammates in 2003. In 2012, U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe confirmed in Out magazine that she was a lesbian. ...

Michael Sam, college football star and top NFL prospect, says he's gay

After retiring from professional football in 1972, David Kopay acknowledged to the Washington Star that he was gay. Villanova University's Will Sheridan came out to his teammates in 2003. In 2012, U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe confirmed in Out magazine that she was a lesbian. ...

6 related stories

David Kopay offers support as Michael Sam faces NFL combine

Former NFL player David Kopay met with Sam the day before the All-American announced he was gay. (L.G. Patterson / Associated Press / February 15, 2014) Late Friday afternoon, David Kopay watched sun cut through cypress trees at Lands End in San Francisco as the first former NFL ...

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