David Kopay (born June 28, 1942) is a former American football player who was one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay.
Kopay was born in Chicago and attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He entered the University of Washington in 1961 and became an All-American running back in his senior year. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He played pro football from 1964 to 1972. After he retired from the NFL, he was considered a top contender for coaching positions, but was snubbed by professional and college teams because of his sexual orientation. He eventually took over the family business selling and installing floor coverings in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
His autobiography, The David Kopay Story, written with Perry Dean Young, offers insights into the sexual proclivities of heterosexual football players and their homophobia.
Since Kopay, only two additional former NFL Players have come out as gay, Roy Simmons in 1992, and Esera Tuaolo in 2002