David Kopay

David Marquette Kopay (born June 28, 1942) 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.[1]

David Kopay
No. 43, 40
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:June 28, 1942 (age 76)
Chicago, Illinois
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Notre Dame
(Sherman Oaks, California)
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Rushing Yards:876
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR


Kopay attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He entered the University of Washington in 1961. He was on the West roster as a halfback at the All-America East vs. West Football Game in 1964.[2] Kopay was signed by the San Francisco 49ers, and 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.[3] Kopay 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.

Kopay's 1977 biography, The David Kopay Story, written with Perry Deane Young, became a best-seller.[4] In 1986, Kopay revealed his brief affair with Jerry Smith (without naming him), who played for the Washington Redskins from 1965–1977 and who died of AIDS without ever having publicly come out of the closet.

Social impact

Since Kopay, only five additional former NFL Players have come out as gay, Roy Simmons in 1992, Esera Tuaolo in 2002, Wade Davis in 2012, Kwame Harris in 2013 and Ryan O'Callaghan in 2017. Kopay has been credited with inspiring these athletes to be more open about their sexual orientation. In May 1977, Kopay was on the cover of GPU News (Gay People’s Union, Milwaukee).

Kopay appears as himself in a small but pivotal role in the film Tru Loved (2008). His scene features young actor Matthew Thompson and Alexandra Paul.

Kopay became a Gay Games Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. He came to Gay Games VII in Chicago in July 2006 and was a featured announcer in the opening ceremonies.

Kopay announced in September 2007 that he will be leaving $1 million as an endowment to the University of Washington Q Center.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "David Kopay". IMDb. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Game Program". All-America Football Game program. 4th Annual: 16. June 27, 1964.
  3. ^ Adkins, Jeremie (August 20, 2013). "Op-ed: What Happened When I Met Dave Kopay". The Advocate. Retrieved August 29, 2013. [Kopay] wrote a book about coming out and he got blacklisted by everyone and couldn't get work in the industry anymore and it was kinda sad, but he went on to work for his family flooring business.
  4. ^ LeVay, Simon; Nonas, Elisabeth (1995). City of Friends: A Portrait of the Gay and Lesbian Community in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 66. ISBN 0-262-12194-8.
  5. ^ Naito, Jon (December 2008). "Homecoming". Columns Magazine.
  • Kopay, David (1977). The David Kopay Story: An Extraordinary Self-Revelation. Arbor House Pub Co. pp. 247 pages. ISBN 0-87795-145-4.
1963 All-Pacific Coast football team

The 1963 All-Pacific Coast football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Pacific Coast teams for the 1963 college football season.

1964 NFL Draft

The 1964 National Football League draft was held in Chicago, Illinois, at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Monday, December 2, 1963.The first overall pick was Dave Parks, an end from Texas Tech, selected by the San Francisco 49ers.The AFL draft was two days earlier, on Saturday, November 30. In the next two years, the drafts were held on the same day; following the merger agreement in June 1966, a common draft was instituted for 1967.

The 1964 NFL Draft is notable for the highest number of players enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame - 11 Players

1971 New Orleans Saints season

The 1971 New Orleans Saints season was the Saints' fifth season. The Saints drafted Archie Manning with their first round pick, the second overall.

Manning led the Saints to their first opening day victory in franchise history, scoring a touchdown run on a rollout on the final play of a 24–20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans' first over Los Angeles following four consecutive losses, including the Saints' inaugural game in 1967. Four weeks later, Manning engineered a 24–14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, who would return to Tulane Stadium in January and win Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins.

1972 Green Bay Packers season

The 1972 Green Bay Packers season was their 54th season overall and their 52nd season in the National Football League. The club posted a 10–4 record under second-year head coach Dan Devine, earning them the NFC Central division title. The Packers returned to the playoffs after a four-year drought; their most recent division title was in 1967, completing that postseason with a decisive win in Super Bowl II in January 1968.

In 1972, Green Bay entered the penultimate regular season game at Minnesota on December 10 with an 8–4 record. The Vikings (7–5) had won the season's earlier game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay by breaking a fourth quarter tie with two interceptions for touchdowns. This time, the Packers overcame a 7–0 halftime deficit at Metropolitan Stadium with 23 unanswered points to clinch the division title. Running back John Brockington became the first in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, and did it again the following season.

Placekicker Chester Marcol established an NFL rookie record for field goals in a season (since broken). It was the fifteenth and final season of hall of fame linebacker Ray Nitschke.

The Packers' next division title came 23 years later, in 1995.

Athlete Ally

Athlete Ally is a nonprofit LGBTQ athletic advocacy group based in the United States. They focus on making athletic communities more inclusive and less discriminatory and help athletes to advocate for LGBTQ equality.

Coming out

Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor for LGBT people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. The term coming out can also be used in various non-LGBT applications (e.g. atheists).

Framed and debated as a privacy issue, coming out of the closet is described and experienced variously as a psychological process or journey; decision-making or risk-taking; a strategy or plan; a mass or public event; a speech act and a matter of personal identity; a rite of passage; liberation or emancipation from oppression; an ordeal; a means toward feeling gay pride instead of shame and social stigma; or even career suicide. Author Steven Seidman writes that "it is the power of the closet to shape the core of an individual's life that has made homosexuality into a significant personal, social, and political drama in twentieth-century America".American gender theorist Judith Butler argues that the process of "coming out" does not free gay people from oppression. Although they may feel free to act as themselves, the opacity involved in entering a non-heterosexual territory insinuates judgment upon their identity, she argues in Imitation and Gender Insubordination (1991).

Coming out of the closet is the source of other gay slang expressions related to voluntary disclosure or lack thereof. LGBT people who have already revealed or no longer conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity are out, i.e. openly LGBT. Oppositely, LGBT people who have yet to come out or have opted not to do so are labelled as closeted or being in the closet. Outing is the deliberate or accidental disclosure of an LGBT person's sexual orientation or gender identity, without their consent. By extension, outing oneself is self-disclosure. Glass closet means the open secret of when public figures' being LGBT is considered a widely accepted fact even though they have not officially come out.

Esera Tuaolo

Esera Tavai Tuaolo (born July 11, 1968), nicknamed "Mr. Aloha," is a former American professional football player. He was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for 10 years.

Homosexuality in American football

Few American football players have come out as gay. Six former National Football League (NFL) players have come out publicly after they retired. There has never been anyone who has been publicly out while playing in the NFL. Michael Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams in 2014 NFL Draft, and became the first publicly gay player drafted in the league, but was released before the start of the regular season. He became the first publicly gay player to play in the Canadian Football League in August 2015. In college football, Division III player Conner Mertens came out as bisexual in January 2014, becoming the first active college football player at any level to publicly come out. In August 2014, Arizona State player Chip Sarafin became the first publicly out active Division I player. In 2017, Scott Frantz publicly came out as gay, joining My-King Johnson as two of the first openly gay players in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Later that same year, Frantz became the first openly gay college football player to play in a game for a NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school. In 2018, Bradley Kim of the Air Force Academy came out as gay, thus becoming the first openly gay football player to play for any military academy in the United States.

Jerry Smith (American football)

Gerald Sanford Smith (July 19, 1943 – October 15, 1986) was a professional American football tight end for the National Football League's Washington Redskins from 1965–1977. By the time he retired he held the NFL record for most career touchdowns by a tight end. A 2014 documentary from the NFL Network's A Football Life series profiles his career, as well as his "double life as a closeted gay man and a star athlete".

List of Croatian Americans

This is a list of notable Croatian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Croatian American or must have references showing they are Croatian American and are notable.

List of Detroit Lions players

This is a list of American football players who have played for the Detroit Lions or for the Portsmouth Spartans (1930–33), in the National Football League (NFL). It includes players that have played at least five matches on the NFL regular season. The Detroit Lions franchise was founded in Portsmouth, Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans. In 1934, the franchise moved to Detroit and changed their name to the Lions, which was a play on the name of the Detroit Tigers.

List of LGBT-related films of 2015

This is a list of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films released in 2015. It contains theatrically released films that deal with important gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters or issues and may have same-sex romance or relationships as a plot device.

List of New Orleans Saints players

This is a list of American football players who have played for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League (NFL). It includes players that have played at least one match in the NFL regular season. The New Orleans Saints franchise was founded in 1967. The Saints have won one Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLIV), have one conference championship, and have five division championships.

Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, California)

Notre Dame High School (NDHS) in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, is a co-ed Catholic college preparatory high school founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1947.

Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Notre Dame has been awarded the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

Out to Win (2015 film)

Out to Win is an American documentary film, released in 2015. Directed by Malcolm Ingram, the film chronicles the history of LGBT participation in professional sports, concentrating in particular on key figures such as John Amaechi, Billy Bean, Jason Collins, Wade Davis, Brittney Griner, Billie Jean King, David Kopay, Conner Mertens, Martina Navratilova, and Michael Sam.

The film had its premiere on March 15, 2015 at SXSW.

Perry Deane Young

Perry Deane Young (March 27, 1941 – January 1, 2019) was a journalist, author, playwright, historian, and professional gardener. He was the author of Two of the Missing, about fellow journalists Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, who went missing during the Vietnam War and whose fates remain unknown, and the co-author of The David Kopay Story, a biography of 1970's professional football player David Kopay, who revealed in 1975 that he was gay.

The David Kopay Story

The David Kopay Story: An Extraordinary Self-Revelation is a 1977 autobiography by David Kopay, written with Perry Deane Young. The book received mixed reviews, but has been credited with helping to challenge stereotypes of gay men.

Tru Loved

For the 2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode, see Tru LoveTru Loved is a 2008 independent film written and directed by Stewart Wade and starring Najarra Townsend, Jake Abel, Matthew Thompson, and Alexandra Paul.

Utah Pride Festival

The Utah Pride Festival is a festival held in downtown Salt Lake City in June celebrating Utah's diversity and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The event is a program of the Utah Pride Center, and includes the state's second-largest parade, after the Days of '47 Parade.

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