On Thursday, Kansas State football player Scott Frantz stepped out and revealed he was gay.
I wish we could all step back and feel as if it’s not a big deal.
Obviously the revelation is still considered news.
Big enough that ESPN was the platform and Holly Rowe was the reporter Frantz felt comfortable with sharing the news of his sexual orientation.
Big enough that only one other football player currently at the major-college level, an incoming freshman at Arizona, has acknowledged that he too is gay.
Big enough that Frantz will be identified for the rest of his time in football, and the rest of his life, as a gay man.
So then, yes, a big deal is still made about this kind of thing.
Frantz recognized that and kept his secret intact the entire time he grew up in Lawrence.
He cared about perception, about awareness, about acceptance. All the issues a gay player confronts alongside teammates in a locker room. All the issues a gay person confronts in our society.
For Frantz, the secret became too much to bear. The culture within the football program at Kansas State allowed him to shed his secret and his emotions.
The Wildcats left tackle tearfully summoned the courage to first disclose his sexual orientation during a players-only meeting prior to last season. A weight was lifted when teammates rushed to show their support.
Another weight was lifted Thursday when Frantz’s interview was aired.
However, another weight was, unfortunately, added.
The disclosure by Frantz will not be universally accepted. Some players will taunt Frantz along the line of scrimmage. Some fans will accost Frantz at stadiums or in public. Some protestors will display their contempt outside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The strength Frantz must exhibit will be different than what he exerted last year to become a starting left tackle as a mere freshman. Good enough, by the way, that the former All-State selection neutralized Texas A&M standout pass rusher Myles Garrett in last year’s Texas Bowl.
Now, Frantz will be recognized for more than just his blocking skills.
Yet he demonstrated enough strength with his own public admission Thursday to both strengthen his resolve and comfort his soul.
He did so after first telling his K-State teammates and gaining trust in them all of last season.
“I want to share my message,’’ Frantz told ESPN, “and tell other people in my spot that you can be loved, you can be accepted, you can be who you are and it’s just not a big deal anymore.’’
Bill Snyder, who has seen and heard just about everything, was indifferent when Frantz informed the K-State coach of the matter. Snyder also welcomed Frantz’s decision to share his story and potentially help others by doing so.
Hopefully, at some point, the story will diminish and Frantz will be proven correct.
It’s just not a big deal.
Contact Kevin Haskin at firstname.lastname@example.org or @KevinHaskin on Twitter.