Ever since Michael Sam made his now famous announcement there has been one question that has been asked to any and every NFL player reporters could find.
Would you be okay with having a gay teammate?
There have been a few players that have been upfront with their feelings and said no, but for the most part the response has been pretty uniform. As long as he can help with football games they don’t care. A recent survey by ESPN the Magazine and ESPN’s NFL Nation confirmed those sentiments.
In the survey 51 players answered a serious of questions anonymously (via ESPN):
• A player’s sexual orientation matters to you.
» True: 7
» False: 44
• I had teammates or coaches who used homophobic slurs last season.
» True: 32
» False: 19
• I would shower around a gay teammate.
» True: 39
» False: 12
• An openly gay player would be comfortable in an NFL locker room.
» True: 25
» False: 21
» No answer: 5
Many players have seemed annoyed that the announcement has received the attention that it has. To them it is such a non-issue that they can’t believe that the media is treating it like one. Some have expressed a concern over whether they are going to be able to joke with Michael Sam about his boyfriend like they would anyone else’s girlfriend.
The new workplace regulations that Goodell has talked about coming up with could go a long way to answer those concerns. Part of the fallout of the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying fiasco in Miami has been a call for such rules; much like you would see in any other workplace.[H/T ESPN]