Troy Vincent, a former NFL player and current league executive, has said that the NFL is ready for its first openly gay player.

The 43-year-old Vincent is the senior vice president of the NFL Player Engagement Organization. He and Dwight Hollier, also a former player who works as the NFL's director of transition and clinical services, addressed more than a dozen people at New York City's Hetrick-Martin Institute, a non-profit devoted to LGBT youth, at an event organized by the You Can Play Project, which works to end homophobia in sport.

Vincent told the crowd that he believes the NFL is ready for its first openly gay player: “As far as we're concerned, it's 'Come on out!'”

He added that he had gay teammates when he played professional football. “We aren't worried about the locker room. We're worried about how to keep a guy safe when he leaves the locker room.”

“People always ask me what's keeping the first NFL player from coming out,” Vincent said. “And they seem to think that there is something the league is doing wrong that's preventing it, or that there's something specific about the culture. I've never believed that. The same obstacles that keep people all across the world from coming out are what keep an NFL player from coming out.”