Since Michael Sam announced to the world that he’s gay, we’ve heard multiple negative reactions from multiple people. Mississippi State tight end informed us that he looked down on gay players. Terrell Thomas said that he “doesn’t believe in it” and “he doesn’t respect it.” And even Sam’s own father, Michael Sam Sr. said he’s a “man and woman type of guy” before later saying he was misquoted.
So now that we’ve got to hear all the negative reaction to Michael Sam potentially becoming the first openly gay NFL player, it’s time for some relatively positive reaction.
ESPN recently surveyed 51 NFL players anonymously on how they would feel about having an openly gay teammate. The survey found that 44 of the players would have no problem with it.
ESPN.com’s NFL Nation and ESPN The Magazine combined on an anonymous survey last week off the news of Sam coming out as the first openly gay NFL prospect. Fifty-one players, almost an entire team roster, responded to four true-false questions. Although the survey showed that most players aren’t concerned with another’s sexual orientation, it also made clear the concerns that players would have with learning how to relate to an openly gay teammate.
Forty-four players said a teammate’s sexual orientation didn’t matter to them, and 39 said they would be comfortable showering around a gay teammate.
The results of the survey weren’t completely rosy. The survey also shows that players believe that an openly gay player would be uncomfortable in a NFL locker room. Players were also concerned about relating to an openly gay NFL player.
All in all the survey found that Sam would be welcomed by teammates for the most part.