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CNN's Berman Pines for More NFL Gays to Come Out of Closet

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Cross posted on the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Friday's New Day, CNN's John Berman interviewed the NFL's Ryan Russell about his decision to announce that he is bisexual. The CNN host gushed over the decision and lamented that Russell is the only NFL member who is openly gay.

Berman also ended up essentially pining for more high-profile gay athletes to come out of the closet as he and co-host Alisyn Camerota discussed the issue.

At 8:32 a.m. Eastern, Berman set up the segment:

Veteran NFL player Ryan Russell has revealed he is bisexual in a personal essay for ESPN. Russell -- or 'Russ' as he likes to be called as currently a fee agent -- is the only active male athlete in the four major professional sports leagues to openly identify as LGBTQ.

After introducing Russell as a guest, the CNN host then oozed: "I have to say, this is a wonderful, wonderful piece you wrote for ESPN, and everyone should go read it."

Berman then quoted a passage in which Russell recalled feeling like he had to "lie" about who he was, and then posed as the first question: "Why did you feel like you had to lie?" After his guest recounted that he felt like he was able to do a better job of being an athlete by no longer working to keep such a big secret, Berman supportively followed up:

It's that last part that I want to focus on there because I think that's really interesting. You talked about the impact that it had on you, living this lie or hiding part of yourself for so long, the depression it caused. But the idea that now being out in the open can make you a better athlete, a better football player.

The CNN host then read from the article as his he added:

You write, "If you aren't fully present and authentic in the training facility, you simply can't be a standout teammate. If you're not who you are, you can't be your best football player." Explain that.

Nearing the end of the six-minute interview, Berman lamented: "The fact of the matter is, there hasn't been an openly LGBTQ male athlete on one of the big four sports teams active. It hasn't happened yet -- why?"

After Russell's final answer, Berman concluded the interview by promising to "root" for him as he gushed:

Russ, we're so glad that you're getting to live your life the way you want to now. Thank you so much for writing this piece. Thank you so much for coming on this morning, and we wish you the best of luck. And I promise we will root for you no matter where you end up as long as you're not playing the Patriots.

Co-host Camerota then jumped in: "What a great interview. I mean, and his point to let other kids know that there is space for them."

Berman responded:

Look, there are some athletes that came out after they left the League who say they think there's at least one or two gay athletes on every team, but the fact of the matter is we don't know. There needs to be a first. There needs to be a first out in the open.

It is worth noting that, if there's any issue that CNN is more transparently to the left on than gun control, it's gay rights. As the liberal news network covered the Supreme Court decision mandating the legality of same-sex marriage in the summer of 2015, the network not only did not include conservative guests to make a contrarian argument against the decision, but CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin openly admitted that they were cheering on the decision.

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