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Retired NFL Linebacker Reveals He’s Getting Married in His Coming Out Statement

cowboys stadium(Shutterstock)

A retired NFL linebacker revealed he’s getting married, but his story is generating buzz because he will be the first known player in the league to be in a same-sex marriage.

Former Dallas Cowboys player Jeff Rohrer shared his coming out story with the New York Times this week, opening up about his journey to love after playing for the league. The former athlete played for the Cowboys from 1982 to 1987 after being drafted in the second round by the team. “If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately,” Rohrer remarked. “It was a different world back then, people didn’t want to hear that.”

On Sunday, he will marry SkinLab founder Joshua Ross before 150 guests at the Wattles Mansion Gardens in L.A. It will be the second marriage for the former NFL player, who shares two teenage children with his ex-wife.

“I’ve given at least five people heart attacks with this news,” Rohrer said. “But for the most part, many of my closest friends, including some of my former teammates with the Cowboys, could not have been more happy and supportive.” One guest, the groom said, even sent back the wedding invitation initially thinking it was a joke.

Upon entrance to the wedding ceremony, each guest will receive a rose quartz stone and an amethyst stone, representing love and friendship, respectively. Both grooms will appear in midnight blue tuxedos by famed Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo. “The man who once spent four quarters chasing quarterback Vince Ferragamo on a Sunday,” the Times piece noted, “will look like a million bucks on his wedding day thanks to Salvatore Ferragamo.”

The couple first met at a tequila bar in West Hollywood. Up until May 2015, Rohrer told the paper that we was “completely in the closet.” Now an award-winning commercial producer, 56-year-old Rohrer also didn’t disclose to Ross, 36, that he was previously an NFL player until months later.

“When I got divorced, I said the hell with it, I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said in the concluding portion of the piece. “Then I found Josh, and began to openly live the life I was born to live.

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About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.