Roy Simmons, second NFL player to come out as gay, dies at 57

27 Feb
Bruce Bennett Studios / Getty Images

Roy Simmons, seen here in 1980, played four NFL seasons in the late 70s and early 80s, but made bigger news when he revealed he was gay in 1992.

Roy Simmons, the second NFL player to announce he was gay after retirement, died last week at his home in the Bronx, according to multiple reports. He was 57.

Simmons, who played offensive line for four seasons in the late 1970s and early 80s with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, died Feb. 20 after spending recent months hospitalizedwith pneumonia, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing Simmons’ brother Gary.

Simmons announced in 1997 that he was HIV positive and “had other health problems,” his brother told The Times.

The New York Post said Simmons died “sitting quietly in his chair,” and quoted friend and co-autobiographer James Hester as saying, “I guess he is at peace now.”

Simmons was drafted out of Georgia Tech in the eighth round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played three seasons in New York, playing in every regular-season game in that time and starting 29 of them. He moved on to Washington in 1983 and played 10 games, starting none of them. His final game was Super Bowl XVIII, where the favored Redskins lost to the Los Angeles Raiders, 38-9.

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


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