Watch A Testy Outside The Lines Exchange Between A Gay Journalist And A Former NFL Player

  • Dan Fogarty

When Out Magazine published their interview with Michael Irvin this week, there were two things that stood out to most people who read it.

One was the interview itself, in which an extremely open Irvin comes out as a staunch supporter of gay rights. The other was the provocative, shirtless cover.

Today on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, the author of the piece, Cyd Zeigler (who also runs Out Sports), sat down to discuss the interview. He also had to defend the cover against former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley.

For OTL’s producers, Bentley was a good choice. He’s a former athlete who once tweeted a gay joke about another athlete, but is media-savvy enough to provide an adequate foil for Zeigler. The result was a bit of TV that, at times, got very heated.

Zeigler brings up the gay joke, which Bentley (weirdly) doesn’t own up to. Bentley makes the (very good) point that Out’s decision to put a shirtless Irvin on the cover probably had to do with selling magazines. Zeigler (correctly) objects to some of the terminology Bentley uses. Bentley (smartly) maintains that he is glad Irvin was so open. And in the end, we’re treated to an engaging few minutes of TV.