Template:NFL player Esera Tavai Tuaolo (IPA: /ɛsɛrɑ tuɑloʊ/) (born July 11, 1968 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a former professional American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for nine years, including participation in the Super Bowl.
He is of Samoan ancestry, and was raised in poverty in a banana farming family. His father died when Esera was ten years of age.
He played college football at Oregon State University and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was selected in the 1991 NFL Draft. Nicknamed "Mr. Aloha", Tuaolo played nose tackle for several teams in his career, reaching the Super Bowl in 1998 while playing with the Atlanta Falcons. He also played for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers during his career.
Personal life Edit
In 2002, having retired from sports, he announced to the public that he is gay, coming out on HBO's "Real Sports." This made him the third former NFL player to come out, after David Kopay and Roy Simmons. He has since worked with the NFL to attempt to combat homophobia in the league and is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
In 2006, Tuaolo sang the national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Gay Games, a quadrennial Olympics-style event. During his career with the Packers, Tuaolo once sang the anthem before a game against the Chicago Bears. Kopay administered the official's oath during the opening ceremony. Also that year, he testified at the State Legislature Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in opposition to an anti-gay-marriage bill.
Tuaolo's autobiography, "Alone In The Trenches: My Life As A Gay Man In The NFL", was released in Spring, 2006. (ISBN 1-4022-0505-8) He also appeared on The Tyra Banks Show talking about his becoming open about his homosexuality to the NFL and speaking out against their "Don't ask, don't tell" policy which is similarly held by U.S. Scouts groups and the U.S. military services.
- ↑ Buzinski, Jim (2002), “Sports: Gay Male”, glbtq.com, <http://www.glbtq.com/arts/sports_gay,4.html>. Retrieved on 2007-08-19
- ↑ Ruth, David (2006-04-05), “We are all children of God”, DFLers.org, <http://dflers.org/story/2006/4/5/112621/0387>. Retrieved on 2007-08-19
- ↑ C.J (2007-07-28), “C.J.: The kids are all right in Tuaolo-Wherley breakup”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, <http://www.startribune.com/464/story/1329888.html>. Retrieved on 2007-08-19