Sep 5 2013

 

 

 

Andrew-luck
Quarterback Andrew Luck

Remember when it was considered very brave when one or two active players in the National Football League would support LGBT rights? The very courage of any player making positive statements about full equality for LGBT Americans was enough to make the front page of every sports section.

OUTSPORTS.com is reporting that there are now sixty-two national football league players who have made supportive statements about LGBT Americans and equality. This is an astounding number and a historical moment. The site has a complete list of the players and their statements but here is a sample.

Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals):

"In our locker room I think he would be accepted very easily," Palmer said. "I've been around the league a long time and you play with a lot of guys from a lot of different backgrounds, and that's just the world we live in. I don't think there would be any issues in this locker room. I think guys would accept him. All the locker rooms I've been in, in fact, since I've been in the NFL, I think he would be accepted very easily."

Stepfan Taylor (Arizona Cardinals):

"It wouldn't be a problem," he said about having a gay teammate. "That's his business. We're all out there playing football, and if he's out there to win games, everyone's out there together. People respect other people's values and decisions. It's a respect thing. You don't have to agree with anything or disagree with things, you just respect that you're here to play football."

Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens):

Suggs

Asked if he would have a problem with a gay teammate, Suggs answered, "Absolutely not." Suggs then added that the rest of the team would welcome a gay teammate as well. We wouldn’t have a problem with it," Suggs said. "We don’t care. Our biggest thing in the locker room is to just have fun and stay loose. We don’t really care too much about that. We’re a football team. I said it yesterday; everybody deserves a certain amount of privacy. Who cares? Whatever a person’s choice is, it’s their choice."

"On this team, with so many different personalities, we just accept people for who they are and we don’t really care too much about a player’s sexuality," Suggs said. "To each their own. You know who you are, and we accept you for it."

T.J. Graham (Buffalo Bills):

The receiver sees gay rights as a civil rights issue. "You can’t discriminate. It’s just like black, white, same thing. You wouldn’t discriminate against my race, just like I wouldn’t discriminate against your sexuality."

Martellus Bennett (Chicago Bears tight end, via Twitter):

"There's def at least one or 2 gay guys on every team. Who cares?! If someone can play ball let em play."

Giovanni Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals):

"That's good for America, that's good for our society to kind of get that out there," Bernard said about Jason Collins coming out. "Nowadays, people have a certain stigma of their sexuality, but I think they shouldn't be considered different at all."

Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts):

"It's the 21st century and I know I would have absolutely no problem with it. I hope no one would treat them any differently than any straight player, no special treatment -- he's just another guy. It's none of our business, sexual preference of people. I hope that if someone is thinking about it and they do come out as gay as a professional football player and it makes them happy and it makes their life easier, than I think they should do it. When it does come, I'd be disappointed if there was a negative reaction among players."

T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts):

"I would have that person's back and I would always be there for them."

Pat McAfee (Indianapolis Colts):

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"I think it's a generational thing. Our locker room, a younger generation, is very much more accepting because we've been around more gay people. In the recent years, gay folks have been much more open. A lot of us have gay friends and we kind of understand that they're just like us, they're just interested in different things."

Matt Overton (Indianapolis Colts):

"Respect Jason Collins for stepping out. Live your life man! Hope people will respect him as a teammate & as a pro athlete."