Steve Nash, the NBA team Phoenix Suns’ star point guard spoke to the New York Times following the team’s president and chief executive, Rick Welts coming out as gay.

Nash was asked by the newspaper if any of his team mates are bothered about having a gay boss. He replied: ” I don’t think the players on our team care. Not a lot of guys on the team have a lot of contact with Rick, including myself. Obviously, I have a ton of respect for him and what he does for the organization. I think he’s great at what he does.”

Asked if the situation would have been different if a team manager came out, Nash said: “In some ways, it would have been a different story because it would have been more high profile. A general manager can’t hide, really. Obviously, there would have been a whole other segment of questioning. There would be a lot of, ‘Really?’ And then a short period later, everyone’s like, ‘Who cares?’ and moves on.”

The basketball star says that the US is ready for an openly gay player, telling the newspaper: ” If a player in the locker room came out, it would come and go quickly, too. I really don’t think it’s a big issue anymore. I think it would be surprisingly accepted, and a shorter shelf life than maybe we would imagine. I think the time has come when it should happen soon. I think it will be something that won’t take on this life of its own. It won’t be the O. J. trial.

Last week, Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 (£30,968) for calling a fan a “faggot”.