Kris Jenkins: Time For NFL Player To Come Out Of Closet
NEW YORK (WFAN) – Former Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins is as outspoken as they come.
He held little back Thursday morning in a wide-ranging interview with WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. Homophobia in the locker room, the NFL’s participation in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the state of the Jets — it was all on the table.
“You wanna know where my frustration comes from?” said Jenkins. “Somebody needs to just go ahead and come out (of) the closet in the NFL — I said it!”
Jenkins said no matter a player’s sexual orientation, “when you step on the football field you should be able to get your butt kicked just like everybody else.”
“When I was in the locker room, that was what was so hard about it,” he said. “The homophobia in the locker room, ‘Oh well if somebody was gay then I’d be upset,’ no you wouldn’t.”
LISTEN: Jenkins with Boomer & Carton
But when it comes to breast cancer awareness and the pink equipment seen in every NFL stadium throughout October, Jenkins insisted less is more.
“Look, we’ve got a month of breast cancer — look, we all support breast cancer (awareness) and we love it. But a whole month of pink?” he said. “This is a gladiator sport. Like, really?”
The 33-year-old clarified: “What I’m saying is this: if I support breast cancer and I choose not to wear pink, should I be crucified for it? That’s what I’m saying. … I’ve seen some teams where it’s just not working for their motivation. When they go out there, they want to be gladiators, they want to be super masculine, they want to do that. And we still want to support and respect breast cancer.”
Cut Vick? Kris debates the issue on this week’s Cover 3:
Jenkins, as usual, had some strong feeling about his former team:
— On what’s wrong with the Jets: “It starts up top. One of the things about ‘Hard Knocks’ when it aired that left a sour taste in my mouth was that you saw (owner) Woody Johnson and (GM) Mike Tannenbaum just as much as you saw everybody else, and it’s about football. Go sit down somewhere. You’re a billionaire, it’s your team, these are your guys, they’re representing you. Let the team show themselves. Let the team work. Let the team understand what football is about.”
— On Mark Sanchez and the team’s high-profile culture: “He’s got his little girlfriend … and they’re GQ magazine posers and all of this stuff and it’s cute, yes. But if you can’t play football and do that at the same time, then stop doing it. Focus on football. Go sit in a corner, watch film and do all of that stuff.”
— Why he gets frustrated watching the Jets: “They have the talent. They’re just not using it.”
— Is Tannenbaum a good general manager? “No. I think he’s great with money and crunching the numbers. … He finds talent that is raw. But if you don’t have people that know how to put it together, then you can’t select those type of players.”
— On his health: “It’s not easy to stay fat. I’m gonna just be honest with you. It’s easy to lose weight and do certain things — I’m doing it now.”
— On being outspoken: “I don’t hold grudges, I just like to talk!”
Your thoughts on Jenkins’ thoughts? Let us know in the comments below…