NFL Team Owners: Prepared to Recruit Gay Players
Several NFL coaches and owners have said they are open to recruiting an openly gay player, following meetings with gay former NFL player and You Can Play executive director Wade Davis.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his team would welcome an openly gay player, while John Fox of the Denver Broncos said Davis's presentation was "one of the best he had ever seen" at the annual owners meetings, according to USA Today.
"I think the most important thing is that it is a matter of respect," Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told USA Today.
Davis gave his second presentation to NFL officials Tuesday, this one to team owners. His meetings have become especially meaningful, given the possibility that a team will draft openly gay University of Missouri star Michael Sam as well as the issue of harassment and bullying brought up by the case of Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins.
According to Outsports, the presentation lasted about 30 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session. The presentation was focused on debunking stereotypes about gay athletes in addition to being inclusive of gay teammates.
Both Fox and Ray Farmer, general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said they would consider bringing Davis to speak individually to their teams.
"Coaches get it and they want to learn," Davis told Outsports. "They wanted me to tell them how to manage this and how they can make sure players will feel safe enough to be out in the locker room."