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Colton Underwood has revealed he was afraid of showering with his NFL teammates in case he was “turned on” and thus outed himself as gay.
The former professional American football player and The Bachelor contestant came out as gay in April, and has now opened up about the “extremely homophobic” atmosphere in locker rooms.
Underwood, 29, said it was hard to hide his sexuality from his teammates in the “extremely homophobic but very homoerotic” situation.
Speaking on Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast, he said: “At the time, there was no other gay football players.
“The coaches and other players in the locker room weren’t very friendly. The locker room is extremely homophobic, but it’s also very homoerotic.
“It’s like (they’re) slapping asses, commenting on each other’s d**ks, and then all of a sudden being called a f*g or queer.
“I would be sitting in my locker room and a guy would walk by to go to the shower and comment on another guy’s penis size, like, ‘Dang, that’s big!’ Stuff like that. Or comment on a nice ass.
“And then, within seconds, if you stare at the d**k too long, it’s like, ‘What are you doing f*g?’ All of a sudden a flip switches.
“It’s super confusing because I’m sitting there like, ‘Wait, maybe other men, especially in this locker room, are questioning or struggling with their sexuality too.’
“Then as soon as that flicker of hope for me, it flipped to slurs and homophobia. And I’d be like, ‘OK, never mind. It’s just me.’”
— Call Her Daddy (@callherdaddy) December 15, 2021
Colton Underwood explained that he would shower and change alone as he was afraid of getting “turned on” and being outed as gay.
“I wouldn’t shower after practice because I was afraid of getting turned on in the locker room or in the shower,” he said.
“I never really was attracted to anybody I played with or coaches, so it’s sort of silly to say that, but I wanted to avoid any chance of being outed so I would not shower with the rest of the team.”
Underwood added he “played it very safe because I didn’t want to give anyone a reason to come at me”.
The reality TV star explained that he went to Catholic school as a child and was taught from a young age that “homosexuality is a sin”.
He said: “I feel like I was almost re-programmed by those circumstances that I grew up in. They tried to rewire me and it just didn’t work… You’re taught from such a young age that homosexuality is a sin.”
Colton Underwood starred on The Bachelorette in 2018 before going on to star in The Bachelor in 2019; he said he wanted to appear on the show in order to get married to a woman.
He said on the podcast: “I thought I could get rid of the spider-web of lies I created if I got a fiancée. And once we get married, I’ll be committed and straight and all these urges will go away.”
The former American football player said in an interview with Variety that he was forced to come out publicly after an anonymous troll threatened to post photos of him in a gay spa.
He said: “I’ll just say it. I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed.”
He came out during an interview with Good Morning America, during which he admitted: “Gay was always affiliated with a connotation of negativity. I think there’s a lot of things that when I look back, no wonder I held it in.”