NFL commissioner Roger Goodell believes
a gay player would be accepted in the NFL.
In a wide-ranging interview with Steve
Wyche of NFL.com, Goodell was asked how the NFL would received an
openly gay player in light of the mostly positive reaction to NBA
free agent Jason Collins' recent coming out on the cover of Sports
“Yes. Again, I have such great
respect for our players,” Goodell
said. “I don't think it will be just tolerated, I think it
will be accepted. These are individuals who play in our league.
We're all different in some fashion, and we're accepting of our
differences. That's what this is all about.”
“To me, if it happens in the league,
that's a personal choice that someone would decide to do,” he
continued. “But I know their teammates and teams, and I think the
fans will all respond the right way.”
While several football players have
announced they are gay after retiring from the NFL, the most recent
example being Kwame Harris, a former San Francisco 49er offensive
lineman, none has yet come out while playing in the league.
Harris suggests he considered suicide while playing in the NFL.)