NEW ORLEANS (USA TODAY) -- One day after details of a bizarre court case involving
former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris and an
ex-boyfriend inadvertently outed the former first-round pick,
several current Niners who played with Harris said that knowing his
sexuality probably wouldn't have made a difference in their locker room
at the time.
"I don't think so, not at all," tight end Delanie
Walker, who played with Harris for two seasons, said. "It probably
wouldn't affect me, but other guys might feel different."
Walker said that Harris' orientation wasn't known to the team during his tenure in San Francisco from 2003-2007.
"I wouldn't assume that anybody who's gay that played on the team," Walker said.
him. If that's what he's into, that's what he's into. I can't judge a
person for how he feels. Things happen. He was a great player. I don't
see him no differently."
While several NFL players have come out after their playing careers,
there has never been an openly gay active one, a subject that Minnesota
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and other current NFL players discussed this season as part of the national debate on same sex marriage.
all come from various different backgrounds, whatever they are," 49ers
long snapper Brian Jennings said. "We're all there for the common
purpose of winning football games. I don't know if it mattered or if
anyone was aware of his sexual orientation."
Punter Andy Lee, who said he didn't know Harris well, seemed equally ambivalent.
each his own. It is what it is. You go about it and do your job and
that's what you're there for," the three-time Pro Bowl player said.
"Whatever sexual preference you have, that's your own thing. That's not anything for me to judge you on."
who pleaded not guilty to the assault charges in the fall, appeared
Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court and is scheduled to face trial
Chris Strauss, USA TODAY Sports