Former Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes denies he was blacklisted by NFL over gay rumors

Feb 19, 2014, 12:36 AM | Updated: 12:36 am

Kerry Rhodes had a hell of a 2012 season for the Arizona Cardinals.

The former Louisville Cardinal had 67 total tackles, four interceptions and a quarterback sack. had Rhodes rated as the fourth-best safety in all of football, so why hasn’t the 31-year-old played in the NFL since?

Good question.

There have been persistent rumors about Rhodes’ sexuality since last April when Russell “Hollywood” Simpson claimed that he had a homosexual relationship with the player.

Some have suggested Rhodes wasn’t picked up by any team in 2013 because of the rumors — a blacklisting of sorts — but the eight-year veteran has spoken up and said that isn’t the case.

Rhodes granted Jane McManus of ESPN New York a phone interview Tuesday and denied the rumors about any unofficial blacklist he may have landed on.

I don’t think I was blacklisted. Especially with the NFL I don’t think they would do that … to me it was a product of me wanting to do other things and not finding the right opportunity.

And about the lingering rumors about his sexuality?

I emphatically said no once and that’s all I need to say and people who know me know that’s definitely not the case. To me I’m definitely not and I can’t control what people think, so I move on.

Rhodes went on to say that he’s still interested in continuing his NFL career, if the right situation were to present itself.

Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam made history last week when he announced he is gay. The 24-year-old will become the first openly gay player in the NFL when he is drafted in May.

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Former Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes denies he was blacklisted by NFL over gay rumors