Members of Outsports, a site for gay athletes and sport fans, attended the NFLPA Rookie Premiere Events last week and were “welcomed with open arms” by NFL players.
While the NFL still doesn't have an openly gay player, it appears that the current generation of football players wouldn't have a problem if that changed.
Check out what some of these players had to say about accepting potentially gay teammates after the jump!
Outsports spoke to roughly a dozen NFL players from various teams from around the country, each of whom seemed to share the same viewpoint: Sexual orientation doesn't matter on the field.
When asked whether they’d be willing to accept a gay teammate, established players like Jevon Kearse of the Tenessee Titans, said that “In the game of football, it’s like a war out there. Once you get out on the field, all that stuff is to the side. You’re on my side. I played in the NFL for 11 years, I’m sure there were at least one or two guys along the line that were gay.”
Touching on former player Michael Strahan and team owner Steve Tisch publicly supporting New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011, Antonio Pierce of the New York Giants said, “Some guys have come out publicly and stated how they feel about that. You’ve got to give them credit, because that’s a tough situation. Just look at what Obama did recently.”
Pierce continues, “You have to accept it because he is a part of your team. He’s one of the 53 guys. Obviously he’s put in the sweat and the blood and the pain to get there. I’ll never knock him. As long as we can win a football game, I don’t care. As long as we’re winning football games and winning championships, that’s all that matters.”
Rookies like Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns, expressed similar sentiments, stating:
“I never pay attention to it. They do what they do. I don’t have a problem with them. As long as they’re playing good football and contributing to the team, I don’t have nothing to do with that. It is what it is. I don’t have any problem with any sexuality or whatever they’ve got going on. That’s them. That’s what they want to do. That’s their life.”
For a sport that's presumed to be pretty homophobic, it sounds like the current crop of players (and even former ones) are becoming more and more open-minded and accepting.
Sounds like an exciting time to be a gay athlete!
Let's leave it all on the football court!