Connor Barwin is not only a star athlete. He’s also a huge supporter of the LGBT community. This football player has proved his ally status time and time again, starting years ago when he accepted his gay brother who came out to the family as a teenager.
Barwin also does a lot of incredible humanitarian work in Philadelphia. His nonprofit, Make The World Better Foundation, is an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the city’s youth by providing safe and fun places for artistic and athletic development.
A defensive end, Barwin has played with the Philadelphia Eagles for four seasons, though the Eagles released him from the team this morning, hours before the start of NFL free agency.
Barwin spoke openly and honestly with OutSports back in 2012 about loving his gay brother and accepting other players for being gay.
On an NFL player coming out:
The first guy that does come out in the NFL might confide in some of his friends and it might spread and be accepted throughout the locker room. And people would just get to know he’s gay and people will move on with football, the season and their life and realize it’s not a big deal at all. There’s nothing different about what they’re doing. There’s nobody having sex in the locker room, so there’s nothing really different.
On his brother coming out:
Our family was immediately accepting, right away. My oldest brother called him out on it when we were in high school. My older brother was a senior in high school and Sean said to Joe, “Hey Joe, you gotta tell me, are you gay or not gay?” You could kind of tell at that age, and Joe just said, “Yeah,” and that was it. And then he came out and told my mom and everybody knew. I think people kind of knew beforehand, but that was how he came out. Everybody was accepting, and he didn’t have an ugly story that some people have had.
On his reaction:
Maybe it’s just because of my parents and how I was raised, but I honestly just thought, “Oh, my brother Joe is gay. I have a gay brother. What is this going to mean exactly?” But I didn’t think anything about it. I remember when I was 12, my biggest question was did my brother choose to be gay or was he born gay? And according to my brother, it was just the way he was born, it’s who he was attracted to.
On gay men thinking he’s hot:
I don’t mind at all if guys think I’m hot. It’s a compliment.