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Former 49ers and Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris went on the record about being a homosexual player during his NFL career in an interview with CNN Friday morning.
Harris�s homosexuality became public when he pleaded not guilty to charges of beating an ex-boyfriend in late January.
He told CNN Newsroom keeping his sexuality secret in an NFL locker room was not easy.
USA Today reports:
�You want to escape the despair and turmoil and your mind goes to dark places,� Harris said of keeping his sexuality secret. �I�m happy today, and I�m glad they were just ideas and I didn�t act on any of them.
�The cost was great not speak candidly open about myself in complete manner,� Harris said. �If I could have done it differently, I would have hoped I found the strength [to come out].�
San Francisco wide receiver Chris Culliver was critical of gays playing in the NFL after Harris was outed in January.
�I don�t do the gay guys man,� said Culliver. �I don�t do that. No, we don�t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can�t be with that sweet stuff. Nah�can�t be�in the locker room man. Nah.�
The 49ers quickly rejected Culliver�s statements. He later apologized and met with a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths.
Harris said Friday he hopes other gay athletes understand they aren�t alone in pro or amateur sports.
�I want people, whether gay athletes, athletes still in the closet, or youths who are not sure what their sexuality is to know those are common feelings,� Harris told CNN. �Don�t feel alone in having them.�