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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pyongyang Issues Warning to Foreign Diplomats; Interview with Daughter of Slain Texas DA; Are 4 NFL Players About to Announce They're Gay?
Aired April 5, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, thanks. Good evening, everyone.
A very busy night tonight including a "360" exclusive, the daughter of slain Texas D.A. Mike McLelland speaking out for the first time anywhere about the parents she lost and the fear that still surrounds the whole community.
Also tonight, North Korea issuing a new warning and getting ready to launch a missile. We have got reaction from South Korea, the latest preparations at the Pentagon.
Plus, the North Korean propaganda machine with the brutal dictators portrayed as every child's friend and the military is invincible. We are going to show you the reality though for life for tens of thousands of men, women and children enslaved in concentration camps. For CBS News' "60 Minutes," I interviewed a man recently born into the toughest concentration camp, a man who spent more than 23 years of his life not even knowing the earth was round until he managed to escape. This report will forever change the way you look at North Korea and its dictator.
And later, are four NFL players about to announce they are gay all at the same time? I will talk with an NFL player who says he knows who they are and is trying to help them make the announcement soon.
We begin though, with a new scare tactics tonight coming from North Korea. Pyongyang now warning foreign diplomats to consider getting out of the country. That is on top of the missile mobilization that's been playing out all week. Now, looks like they have two medium range missiles ready to launch. Russian and South Korean analysts are downplaying the latest veiled threat, saying if they were truly planning a war, North Korea would want to try to keep foreigners around to try to use as human shields.
Let's check in on the latest now from Seoul with our Kyung Lah who is there and in Washington with Chris Lawrence.
Chris, the fact North Koreans deployed two of their missiles on mobile launchers then hid them on the east coast, how significant a development is that? CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Here's what's new about that, Anderson. Mobile launch missiles can go off fairly quickly and with little warning. That's very different than the long range missile that North Korea tested back in December. Those can sit on the launch pad for weeks at a time.
Also, the fact that it's on the east coast. That one in December flew south, out of the way, but on the east coast, signifies that it could potentially fly over Japan. Back in December, the Japanese ordered its military to shoot down any missile that flew over Japanese territory. If they did that this time, you could quickly see how things could spiral out of control.
COOPER: Can quickly ratchet it up.
So Kyung, that North Korean warning to embassies, it certainly has gotten a lot of attention today. What's the reaction on the ground in Seoul?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's getting a lot of attention here at Seoul as well. It is making headline news. And one report in particular is really something that caught our eye. It's a report out of Chinese state media (INAUDIBLE). We know how close the Chinese and North Koreans are. And this report says that the embassy was told by Pyongyang that it's not a matter of whether there will be war, but when.
So that's something that could be viewed as more hot air, that's how a lot of South Koreans view it but certainly a lot of concern as well.
COOPER: Chris, how does the Pentagon view this embassy warning?
LAWRENCE: Anderson, one official, U.S. official told us it's weird. And they are not sure what North Korea means by this warning. But look, the warning that they are really waiting for is what's called a notice to mariners, sort of an advisory that lets ships, planes in the area look, we are going to fire a missile between this date and this day, and it's probably going to fly on this flight plan and it could land in this part of the sea. North Korea has sent that advisory out during previous tests. If they don't do it this time, that could be seen as very provocative.
COOPER: Kyung, is there much concern in South Korea about what this could mean for the economy? Because there is that factory on the border, kind of adjoins North Korea and south Korea factory and North Korea has stopped South Korean trucks and workers from getting to that factory.
LAH: The big concern is the overall economy, the global economy and South Korea's place in it. The concern is that the stock market has been getting pummeled. Just yesterday and to the Saturday morning here, on Friday, the stock market fell 1.6 percent. Over the week it fell 3.8 percent. That is the worst in ten months. This is an economy that relies on foreign investment, foreign investors are the ones leading the sell-off. Without America buying, without American customers, this is an export driven economy that sees it going down the tubes.
So Anderson, a war is already taking place in South Korea. They believe it is a psychological war, that North Korea is trying to target South Korea's economy.
COOPER: Kyung, appreciate the reporting. Chris Lawrence as well.
Scare tactics directed towards countries outside North Korea have been obviously a big part of our focus the last couple days. But we want to show you the reality of what's happening inside North Korea.
Now, inside the delusions, the propaganda, the enduring images of the young dictator there, you see his troops adoring him, cheering him on, that's all part of the state's mechanism of power. Little known to many outside North Korea, though, is the network of prison camps, concentration camps, really, that house political prisoners and their families.
Now, in a moment, you are going to meet a North Korean man who was actually born inside one of Kim Jong-Un's concentration camps. He was raised there for 23 years and had he not escaped, he would have lived there his entire life and died there. That was what the state intended for him. It was the only world he knew. In fact, for the first 23 years of his life, he didn't even know that life outside the camp was any different than the hell he was experiencing inside the camp. He never even thought about escape for that reason. He didn't even know that the earth was round.
So, we want to tell you his story. The camp he grew up, it is called camp 14, and some 15,000 other people right now are imprisoned in that camp. Tens of thousands more, as maybe as 150,000 more, are imprisoned in other concentration camps around North Korea. You think about concentration camps as something that occurred in World War II but they're happening right now in North Korea.
It's not just those accused of doing something against the government of North Korea who get imprisoned. It's their children, their parents. It's a system of punishment unlike any other in the world.
Now, before we show you what it's like inside these camps, before you meet this remarkable man who escaped to the real world outside North Korea, we want to show you the kind of propaganda and reality that all North Koreans have to deal with every day.
Here's our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kim Jong-Il's reign in North Korea ended with this massive and tearful display of official mourning. The great successor was his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un. Then, in his mid 20s, a new generation it was hoped but so far, the same outlook. Hostility towards the outside world, especially South Korea and the United States. And with the world's fourth largest army, North Korea continues its military first policy.
Perhaps, the most important message this regime is trying to send at home and abroad is that this new leader is adored by his people. The young Kim's leadership is constantly reinforced by a lavish state media. Videos like this one show an army officer wiping his eyes, overcome with emotion as Kim Jong-Un speaks personally to him. Even the television announcer is emotional as she proclaims this to be a historic moment for these soldiers.
And recently, the regime has ratcheted up the propaganda just as it's ratcheted up its threats. And this is how a cult of personality is born and nurtured. We see soldiers and their families at a military outpost running to greet Kim Jong-Un. He hugs and kisses the little children, who surround him. The crowds in front of the camera grow and when they gather to say good-bye, many are seen openly weeping. And then as Kim boards his boat to leave, soldiers run frantically down the beach to say good-bye to their leader, even plunging into the icy water in their uniforms to show how much they adore him. He waves benignly and gestures paternally for them to go back to dry land.
As the boat pulls away, the announcer says their leader has confidence that he can win a war against American soldiers, and that's a theme that continues to play out on North Korean television these days. As it has always been in North Korea, a Kim is everywhere, poring over maps with his generals, scoping out possible targets, even taking up arms himself.
Here, Kim visits with smiling troops who perform a song and dance routine for him, and he tells them to train hard because war could happen at any time.
The announcer says we will wipe out our enemies so they cannot survive. The regime is determined to show that North Korea is strong and ready to fight, even as it comes down to hand-to-hand combat. North Korean television showcases the might of the military and the weapons, including these tanks and missiles that were shown just today, but nobody really knows how many of these were set up, how many were Photoshop, even if these missiles are real.
But the message is clear. North Korea and Kim Jong-Un are trying to show the world that they're on top and ready for anything.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, New York.
COOPER: So those are the images that they want you to see. What they don't want you to see is what you're about to see and hear.
Now, as we said, North Korea is at war with its own people. Much of the world is talking about missiles tonight, there's a crime against humanity occurring in that country right now and it's a crime that receives very little attention. Hundred and fifty thousand people are estimated to be doing hard labor on the brink of starvation in a network of hidden concentration camps. These gulags don't just house those accused of political crimes, as I told you. These prisons house their entire families sometimes, grandparents, parents, children. It's a system called three generations of punishment. It doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.
Imagine if you were accused of a crime, you were sent to a concentration camp, but to truly punish you, they would also send your parents and your children, three generations of your family wiped out, taken away to a prison camp, no trial, no explanation. You would simply disappear in the middle of the night.
The most notorious place is called camp 14. We know about it now because of a man named Shin Dong-Hyuk, who I spoke with recently for CBS News' "60 minutes." He says he not only escaped from camp 14 but he was actually born there. He's believed to be the only person born and raised in the camps who has ever escaped and lived to tell about it.
COOPER: Did anybody ever explain to you why you were in a camp?
SHIN DONG-HYUK, ESCAPED FROM CAMP 14(through translator): No, never. Because I was born there, I just thought those people who carried guns were born to carry guns and prisoners like me were born as prisoners.
COOPER: Did you know America existed?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Not at all.
COOPER: Did you know that the world was round?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I had no idea if it was round or square.
COOPER: Camp 14 was all that he says Shin Dong-Hyuk says knew for the first 23 years of his life. These satellite images are the only glimpse outsiders have ever gotten of the place. Fifteen thousand people are believed to be imprisoned here, forced to live and work in this bleak collection of houses, factories, fields and mines surrounded by an electrified fence.
Growing up, did you ever think about escaping?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): That never crossed my mind.
COOPER: It never crossed your mind.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): No, never. What I thought was that the society outside the camp would be similar to that inside the camp.
COOPER: You thought everybody lived in a prison camp like this.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes.
COOPER: Shin told us this is the house where he was born. His mother and father were prisoners whose marriage, if you could call it that, was arranged by the guards as a reward for hard work.
Did they live together? Did they see each other every day?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): No. You can't live together. My mother and my father were separated, and only when they worked hard could they be together.
COOPER: Did they love each other?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I don't know. In my eyes, we were not a family. We were just prisoners.
COOPER: How do you mean?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): It seems that if you wear what you're given. You eat what you're given. And you only do what you're told to do. So, there's nothing that the parents can do for you and there's nothing that the children can do for their parents.
COOPER: This may be a very dumb question, but did you even know what love was when you were, for the first 23 years of your life?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I still don't know what that means.
COOPER: Love may have been absent, but fear was not. In this building, a school of sorts, Shin says he watched his teacher beat a little girl to death for hoarding a few kernels of corn, a violation of prison rules which he and the other students were required to learn by heart.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): If you escaped, you would be shot. If you tried to escape or planned to escape, you would be shot. Even if you did not report someone who was trying to escape, you would be shot.
COOPER: The shootings took place in this field, he says. The other prisoners were required to watch. As frightening as the executions were, Shin considered them a break from the monotony of hard labor and constant hunger. The prisoners were fed the same thin gruel of corn meal and cabbage day in and day out. They were so hungry, Shin says, they ate rats and insects to survive.
So for 23 years, you were always hungry.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes, of course. We were always hungry. And the guards always told us through hunger, you will repent.
COOPER: When Shin and his family were repenting for probably dates back to the Korean War when two of his uncles reportedly defected to the south. Shin believes that's why his father and grandfather were sent to camp 14 and why he was supposed to live there until he died. North Korea's first dictator Kim Il-Song instituted this practice of three generations of punishment back in the 1950s.
DAVID HAWK, HUMAN RIGHT INVESTIGATOR: The idea is to eliminate this lineage, to eliminate the family on the theory that if the grandfather was a counterrevolutionary, the father and the grandsons would be opposed to the regime as well.
COOPER: David Hawk is a human rights investigator who has interviewed dozens of former prisoners and guards from the six political prison camps operating in North Korea today.
HAWK: The largest number of people in the prison camps are those who are the children or grandchildren of people considered to be wrongdoers or wrong thinkers.
COOPER: I never heard of anything like that.
HAWK: It's unique in the 20th or 21st century. Mao didn't do it, Stalin didn't do it. Hitler of course tried to exterminate entire families but in the post World War II world, it's only Korea that had this practice.
COOPER: North Korea denies it has any political prisons, but refuses to allow outside observers to inspect camp 14 and other sites.
There's no way to verify all the details of Shin's story. Do you believe his story?
HAWK: Oh, sure. His story is consistent with the testimony of other prisoners in every respect.
COOPER: There is also physical evidence he carries around with him to this day. The tip of his finger is missing. He says it was chopped off as punishment when he accidentally broke a machine in a prison factory. He also has serious scars on his back, stomach and ankles which he was willing to show us, but embarrassed to show on camera. He says he received those wounds here in an underground torture center. He was tortured because his mother and older brother were accused of trying to escape. He was just 13 years old at the time.
Did they think that you were involved in the escape?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I'm sure they did.
COOPER: How did they torture you?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): They hung me by the ankles. And they tortured me with fire. And from the scars that I have, the wounds on my body, I think they couldn't have done more to me.
COOPER: Shin says he tried to convince his interrogators he wasn't part of the escape plot. He didn't know if they believed him until one day, when they took him to that field used for executions. DONG-HYUK (through translator): When I went to the public execution site, I thought that I might be killed. I was brought to the very front. That's where I saw my mother and my brother being dragged out.
COOPER: Coming up next, we will tell you what happened to Shin Dong-Hyuk and what happened to his mother and brother and his story takes a twist you will never believe. Just ahead, the rest of my interview with him, including his daring escape.
And later, the daughter of murdered Texas prosecutor, Mike McLelland and his wife breaks her silence. I will talk with her about the search for her parents' killer.
COOPER: Welcome back. As North Korea tries to terrify the world, it's already terrorizing generations of its own people, locking parents, children, grandparents away in concentration camps. Some lived their entire lives in these gulags, they are actually born into them, including a man named Shin Dong-Hyuk who says he was born and raised in the notorious hell hole known as camp 14. He escaped to tell his story.
Before the break, you heard Shin talk about seeing his brother and mother taken to the public execution site. That's where we pick up his story.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): When I went to the public execution site, I thought that I might be killed. I was brought to the very front. That's where I saw my mother and my brother being dragged out. And that's when I knew that it wasn't me.
COOPER: How did they kill your mother?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): They hung her. And they shot my brother.
COOPER: He speaks of it still without visible emotion and admits he felt no sadness watching his mother and brother die. He thought they got what they deserved. They had, after all, broken the prison rules.
BLAINE HARDEN, VETERAN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: He believed the rules of the camp play possible.
COOPER: Blaine Harden is a veteran foreign correspondent who first reported shin's story in the "Washington Post" and later wrote a book about his life.
He had no compass by which to judge his behavior. HARDEN: He had a compass but the compass were the rules of the camp. The only compass he had. And it was only when he was 23, when he met somebody from the outside that that started to change.
COOPER: When he met Park?
HARDEN: When he met Park.
COOPER: Park was a new prisoner Shin says he met while working in camp 14's textile factory. Unlike Shin, Park had seen the outside world. He had lived in Pyongyang and traveled in China, and he began to tell Shin what life was like on the other side of the fence.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I paid most attention to what kind of food he ate outside the camp.
What kind of food had he eaten?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): oh, a lot of different things. Broiled chicken, barbecued pig. The most important thing was the thought that even a prisoner like me could eat chicken and pork if I were able to escape the barbed wires.
COOPER: I have heard people define freedom in many ways. I have never heard someone define it as broiled chicken.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I still think of freedom in that way.
COOPER: Really? That's what freedom means to you?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): People can eat what they want. It could be the greatest gift from God.
COOPER: You were ready to die just to get a good meal.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes.
COOPER: He got his chance in January 2005, when he says he and Park were gathering firewood in this remote area near the electrified fence. When the sun began to set they decided to make a run for it.
HARDEN: As they ran toward the fence, Shin slipped in the snow. It was a snowy ridge, fell on his face. Park got to the fence first and thrust his body between the first and second strand and pulled down that bottom wire and was immediately electrocuted.
COOPER: How did you get past him?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I just crawled over his back.
COOPER: So you climbed, you literally climbed over him?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes.
COOPER: He was a fugitive now in rural North Korea, on the run in one of the poorest, most repressive countries in the world, but that's not how it seemed to him.
What did the outside world look like?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): It was like heaven. People were laughing and talking as they wanted. They were wearing what they wanted. It was very shocking.
COOPER: How did you manage to get out of North Korea?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): I was just trying to get away from the camp and I ended up going north. And on the northern side, people talked a lot about China.
COOPER: Did you know where China was?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): No. Not at all. It just happened that the way I was going was toward the border.
COOPER: With amazing luck and cunning, Shin managed to steal and bribe his way across the border and quietly work his way through China, where he would have been sent back if he was caught.
In Shanghai, he snuck into the South Korean consulate and was granted asylum. In 2006, he arrived in South Korea with not a friend in the world. He was so overwhelmed by culture shock and post- traumatic stress, he had to be hospitalized.
More than seven years later, it's remarkable how far Shin's come. He's 30 now, has made friends and built a new life for himself in Seoul, South Korea. But old demons from camp 14 are never far behind. Shin now admits there was something he was hiding. Two years ago he finally confessed to author Blain Harden.
HARDEN: When he first told me about the execution of his mother and brother, he didn't say that he had turned them in.
COOPER: You reported your mother and your brother?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes.
COOPER: What did you hope to get out of reporting your mother and your brother?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Being full for the first time.
COOPER: More food?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes. But the biggest reason was I was supposed to report it.
COOPER: Why was Shin tortured after ratting out his mother and brother?
HARDEN: The guard who he ratted out to did not tell his superiors that he got the information from Shin.
COOPER: So the guard basically was trying to claim credit?
COOPER: It was only after seeing what family life was like outside camp 14 that Shin says he started to feel guilt about what he had done to his own mother and brother.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): My mother and brother, if I could meet them through a time machine, I would like to go back and apologize. By telling this story, I think I can compensate, kind of repent for what I did.
COOPER: Repentance has taken Shin all over the world. He speaks at human rights rallies, meets with U.S. congressmen and he is telling his story to us in part because he's frustrated by how much attention the press pays to North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-Un and his wife, and how little attention gets paid to the people in the camps.
In South Korea, he and some friends started an internet talk show designed to tell the world what's really going on in the north. As for that taste of freedom he risked his life for, he can eat all the broiled chicken he wants now, but admits it hasn't given him the satisfaction he had hoped for.
DONG-HYUK (through translator): When I eat something good, when I laugh with my friends or you know, when I make some money, I'm excited, but that's only momentary and right afterwards, I start worrying again.
COOPER: You worry about what now?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): What I worry about now is all those people in the prison camps. Children are still being born there and somebody's probably being executed.
COOPER: And you think about -- do you think about that a lot?
DONG-HYUK (through translator): Yes.
COOPER: Estimated 150,000 people right now in concentration camps in North Korea.
Let us know what you think about this. Follow me on twitter @andersoncooper.
Coming up tonight, Kaufman county district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were laid to rest today in Texas. Their daughter, Kristina, is speaking out on this show for the first time about their murder. She joins me ahead.
And later, I will talk to former Baltimore Ravens linebacker who says four gay NFL players are preparing to come out publicly at the same time and possibly soon.
COOPER: The Texas D.A. Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were laid to rest today amid tears, resolve and no small measure of fear. The tears as you would imagine for two beloved members of the community, two devoted parents.
The resolve from Chris Heisler who led the memorial services yesterday, calling on law enforcement to chase the killers down and in his words, take them out of the hole they come from.
The fear, though, comes from any number of angles. It flows from the fact that Mike McLelland and Cynthia were not the first prosecutor in Kaufman County, Texas to be gunned down recently and the fact that the killers remain at large.
Last night, visitation services had to be suspended and the church evacuated when someone phoned in a bomb threat. No bomb was found, nor was whoever made the call. Tonight, we want to focus on Mike and Cynthia McLelland, the lives they lived and the work they did.
Joining me now only on 360 is Christina Foreman, who buried her parents today. She is sitting on the right and also her close friend, family friend, Leah Phillips. I appreciate both of you being with us. Christina, again, I'm just so sorry for your loss. What do you want the world to know about your stepdad and about your mom?
CHRISTINA FOREMAN, DAUGHTER OF MIKE AND CYNTHIA MCLELLAND: They were amazing. They were the most amazing people I have ever known in my entire life. They had such conviction and such strength and they really believed in what they were doing, and they loved their family, you know.
We have a blended family and -- five kids and they loved all of us and they had so much to give, and they were there for their community. And Mike really believed in what he was doing in the D.A.'s office and he really believed that he was making a difference.
Not just for the citizens of Kaufman County, not his neighbors, not just his family, but for everyone in Texas. And that's just how they lived their lives.
COOPER: I know you've said, Christina, people need to follow in the footsteps of your parents that no one should let fear stop them from doing the right thing. Do you feel the community is staying strong in your parents' memory?
FOREMAN: I believe that most people are. I didn't mean just for the community, I meant everywhere, everywhere in the nation. We can't allow terrible acts like this to stop the good people from making a difference, because what is our life worth if we do that? If we don't stand up for our friends, for our neighbors, for our family, what are we living for?
COOPER: Leah, I know everybody is moved by the strength of the family and the friends the McLellands are showing in the face of this unspeakable tragedy. You were very close with them. Tell us a little bit from your perspective, what kind of friends they were, their commitment to loved ones and the community?
LEAH PHILLIPS, CLOSE MCLELLAND FAMILY FRIEND: They were the best friends, the best friends that you could possibly in your wildest imagination, imagine. They loved their community. They loved their children. They loved their friends. If you met them, you were their friend. It was just an amazing, amazing couple and you can't replace these people. It's just such a tragic loss.
COOPER: Christina, can you describe how your parents felt about their own safety and security, both before and after Mark Hasse's murder in January?
FOREMAN: I mean, obviously after Mark was hurt, you know, murdered, the concern went up greatly. My parents were more concerned for their friends and their co-workers than they were themselves. That's just how they were. That was the kind of people that they were.
And you know, this was unthinkable and unexpected, and they were taken from us too soon. You know, a lot of people have said a lot of different things and a lot of good things, but you know, Mike was very -- he believed very deeply about providing safety and you know, he requested that all of the officers and D.A.s arm themselves.
A lot of media has taken this as a stand for more gun control and that is absolutely disrespectful to their memory because that's not what they would have wanted. He was a very big advocate for being able to protect yourself and your family.
COOPER: Did he ever share with you who he thought might be behind the murder of Mr. Hasse?
FOREMAN: I can't answer that.
COOPER: OK, sure.
FOREMAN: We don't know any of the details. I have no information to give on that.
COOPER: OK, sure. Leah, did Mike and Cynthia share with you anything about their concerns about safety?
PHILIPPS: No. As a matter of fact, the day that Mark died, they showed up at a big event at the Terrell Performing Arts Theatre to prove that or to show the citizens of Kaufman that it was OK, that people needed to see him because everybody was scared and it was just a tragedy losing Mark, and Mike said we're not going to let this put us in a shell and stand behind a guarded wall.
COOPER: Christina, I saw a press conference that Mike had given and his bravery was quite evident. I know you kind of -- you remarked about it at the service yesterday in no uncertain terms. Where do you think that strength came from, both of your mom and Mike? FOREMAN: You know, he was in the military and that's just how he was. I believe he's probably been that way his whole life. I believe his parents gave him that strength. My mother's parents gave her strength and they have given me theirs. I just believe it was innate in them and it was evident. They worried more about their friends, their neighbors, their family than they ever did about themselves.
COOPER: How do you think, Christina, that your parents would want to be remembered?
FOREMAN: They would want to be remembered as the loving, kind, joyful people that they were, and you know, the outpouring of love and shared memories has been just overwhelming. They touched so many lives, they did so many good things, you know. They helped pay for school for children who couldn't go to school.
They helped their neighbors. They helped their friends. They were there for everybody. And I think, you know, like I said at the memorial, just don't back down. Do what's right. They would want to be remembered that they stood up and they stood for something, and they stood for their families, their friends, their neighbors, the rest of Texas, the rest of the country, and we can't let people discourage us from doing that.
COOPER: They certainly stood up and I think they certainly make me want to stand up and I think everybody who has witnessed you and heard from you tonight will want to do that as well. So Christina, I appreciate you being on in the midst of your grief. Thank you and Leah as well.
PHILLIPS: Thank you.
FOREMAN: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Coming up next, tonight on the program, a groundbreaking moment. If true, word tonight that four current NFL players may be getting ready to make sports history by coming out publicly as gay.
We will speak to a former Baltimore Raven linebacker, who is the source of the story. I'll talk to him in just a moment.
COOPER: Welcome back. Word tonight that pro football may be reaching a pivotal moment. One of the sport's most outspoken advocates for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker, Brendon Ayanbadejo, says as many as four gay NFL players may be considering coming out publicly on the same day, current players, not retired athletes.
He told the "Baltimore Sun" it could happen sooner than anyone thinks. If it does, it would be ground-breaking, obviously. Right now, there are no openly gay players in the ranks of pro football, baseball, basketball.
His prediction comes a day after he was cut from the Ravens. I'm very pleased that he joins me now tonight. Brendon, it's great to have you on the program.
BRENDON AYANBADEJO, FREE AGENT NFL LINEBACKER: Thanks for having me on.
COOPER: So first of all, let's talk about you being cut. Do you believe this has anything to do with your advocacy?
AYANBADEJO: No, absolutely not. The Ravens have been supporting my advocacy since 2009 and they've actually facilitated me hooking up with marriage equality supporters in Maryland and basically helping everything that I've done in Maryland for marriage equality and LGBT rights. So in no way, shape or form, have they ever not encouraged me to be myself and to keep helping the LGBT community.
COOPER: It's really rare not only to have a sports figure of your stature but also a straight person be such an ally to gay and lesbian Americans and trans-gender Americans. Did you have a personal evolution on this issue? Was there a day you suddenly -- did you always feel this way?
AYANBADEJO: I would have to say I always felt this way growing up in Santa Cruz, California. But to me, this issue is very personal. To me this is a fight we fought before. This is loving versus Virginia in the '60s.
They're trying to tell us who we can and can't love. The government shouldn't dictate that. My father would not have been allowed to marry my mother in the '60s so luckily I'm a child of the '70s and so we're fighting the same fight now in 2013.
COOPER: You see this as a continuum of the civil rights struggle.
AYANBADEJO: This is an LGBT rights, this is equal rights. Yes.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, I usually try to use the term not gay rights because it makes it sound like some sort of special rights. It's equal rights.
COOPER: OK, you said that there may be four gay NFL players right now who are considering coming out. Obviously, you're not going to name them or anything like that but do you know these people?
AYANBADEJO: No, actually, what it is, there are organizations that I'm in contact with and there are individuals that I'm in contact with and collectively we know of some gay players and these players, some of them are anonymous, some of them we know who they are but their identity is super-secret and nobody wants to reveal who they are.
And some of them, they don't want to reveal who they are rightfully so because it's entirely up to them what they are going to do. What we want to facilitate is getting them all together so they can lean on each other, so they can have a support group and potentially it's possible.
It's fathomable that they could possibly do something together and break a story together, and one of them had voiced that he would like to break his story with somebody else and not do it alone and that's all I'm saying.
Whether it's one person that wants to do it or two people that want to do it, not all of these athletes are even in the NFL. They are in other sports as well.
COOPER: How do you think the response would be? I guess among fans in the locker room, you can't generalize, of course, but we have heard some statements recently from some players saying it would be a distraction. It would be selfish for a player to come out on a team.
AYANBADEJO: Well, I think ideally what we're trying to do is trying to get to a point where we're past talking about inclusiveness in sports and LGBT rights, kind of how we're past talking about racism in the locker room. It's a thing of the past. It's something we don't even address or consider, even think about racism in the locker room.
So I think we're trying to get to that point and ideally have a trickledown effect into younger people and into children so that's what we're trying to do. Of course, we're going to have to break some barriers to get there and we're going to have to, you know, sit down and talk about this.
And we're going to have to hash things out and at the end of the day, everyone will have to accept it whether they like it or not because it's the right thing to do. We're trying to get past the issue but we have to get there first and of course, we have a lot of work ahead of us.
COOPER: You know, the slurs used against gays and lesbians, you know, the "f" word, is so still ubiquitous in this country. You see it in movies whereas you don't hear the "n" word being used.
AYANBADEJO: Depends what movie you're watching.
COOPER: "Django Unchained" is very specific. But it's none given the past that the "f" word still is -- in comedies, people use the "f" word. We just heard this coach from Rutgers had to resign because he was using anti-gay slurs at players. Is this something you still hear in the locker room?
AYANBADEJO: Absolutely, every day. Every time I hear it I tell that person you can't say that word, no matter what environment I'm in, I tell them you can't say that word, that word hurts people, that's a negative word and it's no different than calling a black person the "n" word if you're a white person.
Some people make the association and the connection and they understand and some people don't, unfortunately. It's a word that comes out of people's mouths way too easily and there's a myriad of words that are equivalent to that word that affect all different types of people that are equivalent to that word as well that we all need to remove from our vocabulary.
COOPER: Being an ally like this, do you get people then questioning your own sexuality?
AYANBADEJO: All the time, but I'm super-secure in who I am. It's the type of thing that people are going to question and why is he so adamant about it. He's one of the four players that is coming out. It happens, but I have broad shoulders and there are people that took heat for coming out for black rights, for Latino rights, for all sorts of different issues in the past, and I'm willing to take that heat right now.
COOPER: Really a pleasure to have you on the program.
AYANBADEJO: Anderson, thanks.
COOPER: An unbelievable gold mine of rare memorabilia about to go up for auction. There are letters written by George Washington, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe even Thomas Edison's first patent application for the light bulb, fascinating stuff. We're going to show it to you ahead in a minute.
COOPER: Let's get you caught up on some of the other stories we're following tonight. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. A federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to make the morning after pill available over the counter in drugstores and without any age restrictions. Currently, the government requires a prescription for girls under 17. The administration may appeal that decision.
China is moving aggressively to stem an outbreak of bird flu that has killed at least six people. Authorities have ordered the slaughter of more than 20,000 birds from live poultry markets in Shanghai included are chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons. Shanghai's poultry markets will be closed for the time being.
More fallout today at Rutgers University over the video showing the former head basketball coach physically and verbally abusing players, the university's athletic director, Tim Pernetti, has resigned, saying that instead of disciplining the coach, they should have fired him last fall when the video first came to his attention.
Soon, you can own a piece of history. An absolute treasure trove of rare documents is about to go up for auction. There are letters from Earnest Hemingway, John Lennon, George Washington even photos that Moselini sent to Hitler. You can see Jason Carroll's full report on ac360.com.
COOPER: Incredible stuff, yes, check it out online. Susan, thanks.
Coming up, if you happen to be watching the program from a UFO tonight, we found the perfect place for you to land on the "Ridiculist" next.
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, we have a message for all the extra terrestrials who are watching. We have come across the perfect place for you to land your UFO. Behold the UFO Welcome Center in South Carolina. It's been around for almost 20 years, but we're hoping this publicity will get more UFOs to stop in because the proprietor, Jody Pendarvis, is totally ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aliens can fly from the north or the south and just land in the parking lot and come in and chit-chat with me guys. Welcome to planet earth!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He built the welcome center in the '90s and finally, in 1999, says he says he saw a UFO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually saw it twice that night. I'm going, man, they really want me to turn these lights on. As they say, do it. They will come. You see a UFO. You know that it's not from here. You can't hear any engine. I could definitely say that I'm not too sure if there was any windows in that UFO or not, but I could actually see inside of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, despite taking the time to build that UFO Welcome Center, Mr. Pendarvis doesn't seem to hold that much hope for an actual landing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe they are actually going to land, OK? I think they would just rather fly around, live on their own ship and maybe come visit, maybe not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I got to tell you, if I was an alien, that welcome center would be my first stop. Are there any other UFO Welcome Centers? I don't know. I'm not an expert. Everything I know about UFOs comes from that guy from ancient aliens on the History Channel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pyramids were built by human hands but with the assistance of extraterrestrial technology. These people were misinterpreted flesh and blood space travelers. This is a direct result of extraterrestrials tampering with our DNA so we're half human and half extraterrestrial. We're hybrid. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Did you notice his hair change in the middle of that? It seemed to get darker, too. If you see any other alien brethren this weekend, be sure to point the UFOs in the direction of South Carolina because the welcome center is ready and waiting and the truth is out there on the "Ridiculist."
By the way, we got a call in the NEWSROOM from a gentleman named Vance who was watching the "Ridiculist" last night when his cable suddenly went out so he wanted to know what happened. He wanted to know how it ended.
So a just quick recap, just for Vance. Someone in Putnam County, Tennessee called 911 because they thought they heard someone hollering for help. When police arrived, turned out the hollering was actually coming from this goat named Charcoal. That's it.
Thanks for watching, Vance. Thanks for calling. You made our day. That does it for us. Have a great weekend. We'll see you again one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, a special report, "Michael Jackson, The Final Days." "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.