Former Dallas Cowboy and Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin posed for the cover of Out magazine. In the accompanying article the former NFL star discussed his late brother, who was gay, as well as his own feelings about issues like gay marriage.
Irwin said he’d learned of his brother Vaughn’s homosexuality in the 1970s when he’d found him wearing women’s clothing. While Irvin speculates that this discovery might have contributed to his own womanizing as an adult (overcompensating for unfounded fears that homosexuality may be hereditary), he credits his father, Walter, for helping him accept his brother’s sexual orientation. Vaughn died of stomach cancer in 2006.
Irvin also spoke about his support of gay marriage saying, "I don't see how any African-American, with any inkling of history, can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life,"
On the issue of an athlete or sports figure coming out, Irvin says that "I will absolutely support him.... I'll give him 100 percent support."
Irvin played for the Cowboys from 1988 to 1999, and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007. He is currently an analyst for the NFL Network.
(Photo: OUT Magazine July 2011)