Byron Perkins speaks onstage at a Night of Pride with GLAAD and NFL on February 08, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Who Is Byron Perkins? The Only Out Gay Player in the 2024 NFL Draft

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Last summer, football talent Byron Perkins made news after he became the first out HBCU footballer. This spring he is turning heads as the only out gay NFL hopeful in the draft out of around 250 college players.

Perkins, a defensive back out of Hampton University in Virginia, is also one of the few HBCU players to be in the NFL Draft. In the last four drafts, there have been only six HBCU players that have been selected, which makes Byron even more unique as he is breaking barriers on multiple fronts.

"I just want a fair shot," Perkins told Outsports about his NFL hopes.

He added, "This is who I am, this is who I've been, and this is who I'm going to be."

Historically, there have only been three out gay men ahead of the NFL draft: Michael Sam, Scott Frantz, and now Perkins, according to Outsports.

Although Perkins' NFL dreams might be slim, with priority given to USC, LSU, Ohio State and more "Power Conference" teams across the country.

Perkins is just winning by being on the field and getting his name out there, in which will probably lead to him being picked up by a team for Organized Team Activity, a time in which NFL teams begin official practice.

"I can only hope to have a sliver of an opportunity," Perkins said. "If I go to a free agency situation, even uttering 'National Football League,' that's a privilege. These guys dedicate their lives to being excellent every day. I'll let the cards fall how they fall and let God lead me in the direction I need to go to be successful."

Good luck, Byron!

by Emell Adolphus

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