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Michael Irvin was never shy in speaking out on the football field, whether to remind an opponent that he had just been beat, or to rally his teammates on the sidelines. Now, Irvin is lending his voice to the fight for equality, appearing on the cover of this month’s issue of Out, a gay men’s magazine.

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Irvin says in the article that his relationship with his brother Vaughan, an openly gay man who died of stomach cancer back in 2006, did a great deal to mold his views on same-sex relationships. According to the magazine, Irvin became aware of his brother’s sexuality in the seventies, after discovering Vaughan wearing women’s clothing, an experience that deeply affected the Hall of Fame receiver. Irvin has since reflected on the appearance with the help of Dallas Bishop T.D. Jakes.

“And through it all we realized maybe some of the issues I’ve had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that’s the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies’ clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?” Irvin said to Out, per ESPN Dallas. “I’m certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up.”

Read the article here

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