Former 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris said he wished he had had the strength to be the first gay player to come out during his playing career, but at the time he didn't see being gay and playing in the NFL as "compatible."

"Now when I look back in hindsight, if I could have done it differently I'd like to think that I would find the strength or find the fortitude or the grace to kind of make the hard decisions," Harris told CNN on Friday morning.

Harris, 31, was the 49ers' first-round draft pick in 2003, and he played for the team through 2007. The Raiders signed him in 2008 and cut him after the season. He has been out of football since.

His sexual orientation was revealed last month when he was charged with assaulting an ex-boyfriend.

Harris was interviewed by ex-Stanford teammate Coy Wire at the school's stadium. Harris told Wire that he loved playing football but that the "cost was great" because he felt the sport didn't allow him to speak freely about his true identity. Wire, meanwhile, said he and his Stanford teammates might have assumed Harris was gay, "but we didn't really care."