Former NFL player Matt Willig has been retired from football since 2005, having won two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams. Willig is now an actor, and he has also come out for marriage equality. He spoke with OutSports about negotiating his support for LGBT rights with his Catholic beliefs:
WILLIG: When you grow up in a Catholic upbringing, and the conservativeness of that, and I’m still a practicing Catholic, I struggled with how the Church stood on that. I also see the complete hypocrisy that goes on with the Church, and their stance on gays, and the things that go on with the Church. That was the struggle I dealt with.
I didn’t want to come out here and say, ‘Yeah, this is something I’ve always been for.’ I wanted to be honest. I am the evolution of middle America. People are struggling with how they grew up and how their parents have seen things. And I wanted to talk about my experiences, and that I evolved into feeling that equality and treating everyone the same is the utmost important thing.