By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com September 06 2012 11:29 AM ET
Five current NFL players said they would welcome gay teammates, OutSports reported Wednesday. Ray Edwards of the Atlanta Falcons, George Wilson of the Buffalo Bills, Takeo Spikes of the San Diego Chargers, Taiwan Jones of the Oakland Raiders, and Kamerion Wimbley of the Tennessee Titans all said they would have no problem playing alongside gay teammates.
San Diego Charger Spikes actually said he would prefer if closeted teammates came out as gay, "Because I like to be transparent," he said. "If it's something that's close to your heart, everybody should be transparent about it. You may not agree with what everybody does in life, but you can respect it."
Several players said they had gay or lesbian friends and family members. Ray Edwards, a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, said it wouldn't matter to him if a teammate was gay.
"Everybody has what they want to do. As long as they don't [hit on] me, I'm fine. We can hang out, have fun. We can kick it. I actually have a lot of friends who are gay. It's fine with me. I don't have a problem with it at all."
Kamerion Wimbley attributed his gay-friendly attitude to his ex-girlfriend, who helped him understand that it's OK to be gay. "I would feel like [coming out] is the right thing to do," Wimbley said. "He's letting everybody know his sexuality. He doesn't have to hide and feel like he has to be somebody else. He can be himself."
OutSports reports that among the two dozen NFL players the site has polled, every player expressed acceptance and varying degrees of willingness to embrace gay teammates.