Former Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe hopes Michael Sam gets a fair chance to play in the NFL but acknowledged Sunday that his sexual orientation might be a barrier.

Kluwe appeared on an ABC News This Week panel to discuss Sam's prospects of getting in the NFL after announcing last week that he's gay. Also joining host George Stephanopoulos were Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated and Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of

“I think the NFL, as a player, looks at him skeptically and I do think there's the dreaded word distraction, George, that keeps coming up,” Thamel said.

“I think [sexual orientation will make a difference] and I think it's unfortunate,” Kluwe said. “Because there are general managers and executives that simply believe this way and they're not going to change their mind[s].”

“It's our job as citizens to say Michael Sam deserves a fair chance. Not because he's a gay football player, but because he's a football player and he wants to go out and play football,” he added.

Zeigler disagreed, saying that “we media have brought the struggle to this story.”

“There is no evidence that this is going to be a struggle. … Why is it going to be a struggle? Why would it be any more so than for anybody else?” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)