Posted By: Sports
FORMER NEBRASKA KICKER ERIC LUESHEN CAME OUT AS AN OPENLY GAY MAN TODAY ON NINETY THREE POINT SEVEN THE TICKET...
LUESHEN IS BELIEVED TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY FOOTBALL PLAYER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA...
IAN HEST HAS REPORTS...
ERIC LUESHEN NEVER APPEARED IN A GAME FOR THE HUSKERS...BUT TUESDAY HE MADE HISTORY.
APPEARING ON LOCAL RADIO STATION 93.7 THE TICKET, LUESHEN CAME OUT AS AN OPENLY GAY MAN...THE FIRST HUSKER TO PUBLICLY DO SO.
Lueshen says "By me just being me, I was already inspiring others. It wasn't anything I sought out to do. I was just not going to live accosted or a limited life."
LUESHEN SAYS HE FELT BETTER ABOUT SHARING HIS STORY AFTER MISSOURI DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL SAM CAME OUT EARLIER THIS WEEK.
SAM IS PROJECTED TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY PLAYER IN THE N–F–L.
"I was initially very proud of the courage he had to do it."
A PREFERRED WALK–ON FROM PIERCE, LUESHEN WAS EXPECTED TO BATTLE JORDAN CONGDON FOR THE STARTING ROLE IN 2005, BEFORE A BACK INJURY ENDED HIS HUSKER CAREER.
HE SAYS HE WAS OPEN ABOUT HIS SEXUALITY WITH FELLOW PLAYERS AND COACHES...AND A LARGE MAJORITY WERE VERY ACCEPTING.
"I'd say overall the initial response was quite heartwarming and I couldn't ask for anything better I think."
HEAD COACH BO PELINI WAS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DURING LUESHEN'S REDSHIRT SEASON.
PELINI WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT BUT LUESHEN SAYS HE WAS ALWAYS NICE TO HIM.
"After the 1st Alamo Bowl in 2003 that I went to, just the overwhelmingly nice and sweet reception I got. And I never once felt anything hostile or negative towards me."
THROUGH A SPOKEPERSON, NEBRASKA'S ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT DECLINED TO COMMENT ON LUESHEN'S ANNOUNCEMENT AND ALSO HOW A CURRENT HUSKER FOOTBALL PLAYER MIGHT BE RECEIVED IF THEY CAME OUT.
HOWEVER LUESHEN SAYS IF IT WAS ANYTHING LIKE HIS EXPERIENCE 11 YEARS AGO, THAT PLAYER WOULD BE WELL RECEIVED.
UNL ADDED LATE TUESDAY NIGHT THAT THEY FULLY SUPPORT THEIR NON–DISCRIMINATORY POLICY...