Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice battles San francisco 49ers tackle Kwame Harris at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida November 21, 2004. The Buccaneers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 35 to 3. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The big news about Kwame Harris was not that the ex-49er is facing a prison term for assault -- it was that the Stanford graduate assaulted his ex-boyfriend.
It is a difficult way for an ex-athlete to come out as gay, especially in the very macho world of the NFL, which has not had an active player come out.
Harris was outed by the legal system and the media, and has not commented publicly.
On Tuesday, however, former teammates of Harris', in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, spoke highly of the former first-round pick.
Tight end Delanie Walker told USA Today on Tuesday that knowing Harris's sexual orientation would not have changed locker room culture much.
"It probably wouldn't affect me," he said, adding, "but other guys might feel different."
The news was as surprising to Walker as it was to the rest of the world -- nobody knew Harris was gay on the 49ers, where he played from 2003 to 2007.