By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com May 24 2012 1:12 PM ET
Several current and retired NFL players say that they and their teammates are ready to welcome a gay player on their team.
Rookies Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, and Coby Fleener all agreed that it was time for the NFL to be more supportive of gay players.
Richarson, a two-time national champion for the University of Alabama, in a state that overwhelmingly passed a gay marriage ban in 2006, said he doesn't care whether a teammate if be gay, and added that he has gay friends.
“I never pay attention to it,” Richardson said to Outsports.com last week at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. “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.”
Retired player Jevon Kearse agreed. “In the game of football, it’s like a war out there,” he said. “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.”
Meanwhile former Green Bay Packer Ahman Green also told Outsports that it would be difficult for a gay player to come out, but he shared that he has a gay brother and lesbian sister.
"In our sport, to be honest, I think it would be hard for any guy to come out while he's playing," he said. "And that's not a happy thing to say. The gay community is just like everybody else, but they're treated differently. It's a double standard. If a guy was gay, he wouldn't come out while he was playing. He knows the possibility of the scruitiny he might face from the locker room, which would be unfair. I am very open-minded. It is what it is. People are born that way. You can't control it. Just like you're white, I'm black. But a lot of people don’t think my way. I wish they did, because then there wouldn’t be guys who wanted to stay hidden."