We're getting closer to the point where athletes at every level will have no issue with the public knowing they're homosexual. As of now, we've yet to have an active American athlete in team sports come out of the closet, but stories like the one Dana O'Neil so fantastically crafted and presented will help us get to that point.
Villanova's Will Sheridan is the focal point of the story and the latest inspiration to in-the-closet athletes everywhere. Sheridan played at the university until 2007. In that time, his teammates knew he was gay. That's kind of the point: they knew, didn't care and kept it a secret. Sheridan wasn't necessarily afraid of the backlash from the public. It's now gotten to the point where Sheridan considers his sexual orientation so matter-of-fact, he wanted to share just how easy coming out of the closet can be for an athlete.
Now the man is making music, living in New York and starting another stage of his life. Last month, I had a post centered around Sheridan's video for his song "Welcome to the Jungle." Interesting to watch that now and know more about the man.
But because he just doesn't get it anymore.
The big deal. The turmoil. The stigma.
He's proud of who he is, confident, comfortable, borderline arrogant even. And while it wasn't easy, his wasn't the torturously impossible and lonely road so many presumed it would be.
Sheridan doesn't have many Twitter followers -- though his count has risen about 100 since the story went up -- but he did foreshadow to this over the weekend, knowing full well his story would go public on Monday. There's not much more for me to write in this space right now. Read the entirety of O'Neil's story to get the scope of Sheridan's life, which was tough in some parts -- but maybe not the ones you'd expect. The reason he resisted embracing this on a larger stage originally was due to his family, not his teammates or friends.
It's as much a story of courage as it is Sheridan's evolution and comfort.