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'Kingdom' Star Frank Grillo Says The Sports World Is 'Still Way Behind' On Gay Athletes

"The fact that we're having a conversation that it's a big deal is a testament to how much work we need to do."

The Audience Network drama "Kingdom" recently made headlines for introducing a gay character, played by Nick Jonas, into the hyper-masculine world of mixed martial arts. But Jonas's co-star Frank Grillo hopes that one day soon the idea of a gay athlete won't be such a news-worthy concept.

"I don't remember ever seeing a gay character really being portrayed in such an honest way in a world like this, in an athletic world," Grillo told HuffPost Live on Tuesday. "[Not just] the fight world, but the sports world in general is still way behind with this subject, and I think we have a great opportunity -- I think we have a great responsibility as a show to really portray this --  the struggle of it and the prejudice of it and the reality in 2015."

While Grillo said he understands the importance of participating in the dialogue about gay athletes, he looks forward to the day there's no need for a discussion about it.

"This shouldn't be a conversation. It should not be a conversation. It's that simple," Grillo said. "The fact that we're having a conversation that it's a big deal that this kid [in 'Kingdom'] is struggling in this world is a testament to how much work we need to do."  

Grillo, who's been an athlete for most of his life, concluded with a reminder that the world faces much bigger issues than wondering about whether there's a gay man in the locker room.

"We live in a time where we can't walk down the streets of Paris at the moment. It's like, we're worried about sexuality?" he said.

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