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Out of Bounds: Coming out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet Paperback – Bargain Price, November 16, 2006


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Paperback, Bargain Price, November 16, 2006
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (November 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786719095
  • ASIN: B00127QCCA
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,504,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1992, on the Phil Donahue show, former NFL offensive lineman Roy Simmons let the world in on his secret: Simmons, a seven-year veteran of the NFL who had traded the gridiron for a crackpipe, was gay. Only the second NFL player to admit he was gay (a third, Esera Tuaolo, has since made the announcement), Simmons's confession shocked the sports world. But it is what led up to that show that proves even more shocking. In this gritty, unflinching memoir, Simmons recounts how keeping his sexuality tucked tightly under his football pads steered him into a clandestine life filled with sex, drugs, sex, lies and sex. Unlike recently celebrated and bestselling rehab memoirs, Simmons's story has no happy ending. Nor is there a happy beginning or happy middle. And be forewarned: Simmons pulls no punches in speaking directly (read: profanely) about his experiences-the sex is explicit and the drugs are rampant. Simmons has since become the only former NFL player to disclose that he is HIV positive, but his illness has done little to derail his self-destructive lifestyle. Even now, 13 years after that televised confession, he seems strangely proud of his exploits. This memoir may not be a must-own for the casual-or even avid-football fan, but it should be required reading for every nascent professional athlete-as a manual of what not to do.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Roy Simmons is only one of three former NFL players to publicly disclose his homosexuality. An offensive lineman with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins from 1979-84, he came out as gay on television in 1992. Simmons works as a supervisor in a Long Island drug halfway house.

Damon DiMarco is the author of Tower Stories: The Autobiography of September 11, 2001. He’s currently on the faculty of Drew University and lives in New York.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Mr. Simmons and Damon DiMarco have crafted a story too intense and heart-touching to be fiction.
Richard S. Friedman
We found it truly remarkable for a man like Roy to encounter so many chances in life... just when you think he has hit rock-bottom, somehow he bounces back.
GBM BOOK CLUB
This is a story that is not only gripping to read, but which will take you through several layers of thought as you see this man's incredible path.
Chad Sosna

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Audre Lorde said "We need a litany for survival." I sooo appreciate when black gay men and lesbians write about their lives, whether they were successful or unsuccessful in their struggles. Here, Simmons speaks of his life in the NFL, having sex with both genders, contracting HIV, surviving childhood sexual abuse, and battling drug addiction. I think this book will be helpful to many populations of readers.

When many people say, "I like doing X", they also mean, "I hate doing Y." or when they say, "I like group X" they let it be known that they "hate group Y." This can be painful for people in Group Y to hear. However, Mr. Simmons is a man who likes everything. Not only does he like men and women, he's cool with blacks and whites. He is proud to do all types of things in the bedroom. This is a football player who likes to pitch and catch, in addition to playing on both teams. This will make many readers comfortable.

My big critique is how he never acknowledges racism or homophobia. Here's a black man who never questions how he easily gets into predominantly white gay spaces. He never once links his jail time to the disproportionate number of brothers who are locked up. Simmons is clearly no Donald Suggs or Keith Boykin, but I wish he spent some time looking at the societal forces that affect him, and others like him. In so many ways, Simmons embodies the "down-low" phenomenon which J.L. King wants to solely represent. Straight women that have loved gay or bisexual men, especially within the African-American community, may appreciate learning more from him.

Usually, layperson-y, chatty autobios have photo sections. This book did not.
Read more ›
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lucas J. Kerr on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Roy Simmon's has lived one crazy life and he shares it with us in his great book Out of Bounds. It starts with the story of his childhood in poor Savanah and his rape at the hands of a neighbor, his realization of his homosexuality, right through his awesome career as a football player and his fight with drugs. It is one rollercoaster ride that you shouldn't miss. Gay or straight, jock or not, this is one great book. Lets just hope that other gay athletes start to step forward and tell their stories because only the truth will set us free.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By So. Calif book reader on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book kept my attention and I was anxious to read it---but after Roy turned into a druggie, it got kind of boring. One slip up after another, making feeble attempts to stop. I got to the point where I was hoping he'd OD and die. Put him out of his misery. I find it rather strange that he uses all kinds of bad language and is rather descriptive in describing some of his sexual trysts, yet he gets religion in the book. It certainly didn't do anything to clean up his mouth. And now that he has found religion, is he claiming he's "cured" of being gay and finds it wrong and that it was a big mistake? The book doesn't say and there isn't much follow up available over the internet so I guess Roy's vanished into society. If he's been "cured" and now condemns homosexuality, I would be VERY upset with him, saying that he only used this book for profit. He was pro-gay through the book. I'm not saying he has to become a spokesman for the gay community or take up AIDS causes, but I think he has to remain true to himself and admit being gay. I also kind of got the implication that after he was outed and found religion, that he kind of used his being raped by a male neighbor as his 'excuse' for being homosexual, which I think is a big cop-out. He even admits he liked it and was interested in other guys at this same time. Is it who he's talking to at the time or is he consistent with his truth. Being the liar and self centered louse he was in the book, I do wonder.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Walker on June 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read! Not only do you the opportunity to have a front row view into the mind of a drug addict and bisexual, you learn to empathize with homosexuals and their struggle to be accepted. This book proves that individuals usually never fully heal from their childhood experiences, especially when abuse was involved. There are many moments I had to put the book down for the semi graphic sexual acts, but it was entertaining none the less. Roy Simmons had one hell of a life and I'm glad he shared his story!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lena S. Mack on March 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I FOUND ROY SIMMONS BOOK TO BE A GREAT PAGE TURNER,ROY DESCRIBED

HIS OUT OF CONTROL LIFE IN VIVID DETAIL. I FOUND MYSELF HATING THAT THE BOOK WAS GETTING TO THE END. I WAS LEFT FEELING FOR ALL THOSE THAT WERE MENTIONED. HIS DAUGHTER AND HER MOTHER ALONG WITH HIS RIDE OR DIE BEST GIRLFRIEND. THE BOOK DOES HAVE SOME BAD AND UGLY MOMENTS BUT YOU CAN STILL FEEL THE GOOD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Prometheus on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this book in my "to be read" pile from several years ago. How it managed to fall to the bottom (or pushed aside), I'm sure I don't know. Nonetheless, I'm glad I read it.

The construction of the book is problematic, but definitely not fatal. Much of it seems episodic in nature, but that's not unexpected. Mr. Simmons (and his co-authors) is trying to tell a highly fascinating story in a few hundred tight pages. Given the fact that he was often under the influence, it's not surprising the book reads as disjointed scenes of an extraordinary journey. I suspect the NFL angle is designed to drive the narrative, but football (during college and in the NFL) plays second fiddle to the star of this book: Mr. Simmons and his drug addiction. I was intrigued by the last quarter of the book as Mr. Simmons repeatedly got on the wagon and repeatedly fell off; the things he did to support his drug habit; and how badly he treated his friends and family members: over and over and over, again.

Intellectually, I understand drug addiction, but it's not something I ever want to experience and I have considerable empathy for those who are in recovery. What I took away from his story is that every minute of every day is an ongoing struggle to conquer the addition.
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