Cowboys great Irvin opens up to gay magazine

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin admits in the latest issue of a gay magazine that growing up with a homosexual brother might have led him to become a womanizer.

"I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why I was making these decisions, and that came up," Irvin is quoted in the July issue of OUT magazine, in which he appears shirtless in several photos, including the cover.

Irvin touched on several topics in the interview, including equality issues, whether he would support an athlete who decided to come out and his brother, Vaughn, who died of stomach cancer in 2006.

Irvin detailed how he discovered his brother was gay in the 1970s — when he saw Vaughn walking down the street in women's clothing.

". . . Just bringing women around so everybody can see," Irving explained, "maybe that's 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 also said he would back any athletes who choose to disclose their sexuality, which has become more commonplace in sports.

"If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him," Irvin told OUT. " . . . When a guy steps up and says, 'This is who I am,' I guarantee you I'll give him 100 percent support."

Irvin added: "Hopefully, as we move forward, we'll get to a place where there's no way it's even considered; it just is what it is and everybody can do what they do. That's the ultimate goal."

So how would Irvin and his Cowboys teammates have received an openly gay player in their locker room?

"I believe if a teammate had said he was gay, we would have integrated him and kept moving because of the closeness," Irvin said. "We had a bunch of different characters on that team. Deion (Sanders) and Emmitt (Smith). I believe that team would have handled it well."

Irvin also talked with the magazine about how the African-American community should support gay marriage.

"I don't see how any African-American with any inkling of history can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life," he said. "No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with."