A former Major League baseball player has said that he played alongside gay teammates, and that he didn’t understand why any player should have a problem with doing so.

Curt Shilling, a former pitcher with a career in baseball spanning 20-years, said in a series of tweets, that he did not understand why there was such an issue in professional sports with players coming out.

He also said that he had played alongside gay players, and that it did not matter, and that their performance on the pitch was the important issue.

Mr Shilling said: “I’ve never understood this ‘issue’ with gay players? Who cares? I know I played with some, their sexual orientation never had much to …To do with how they hit with RISP, or pitched in late and close situations, why the hell would what they do in the bedroom ever matter?”

Curt Shilling’s Major League career spanned from 1988-2007, reports AOL. He pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros.

The issue of gay sportsmen coming out has been very topical of late, as earlier this week, Chris Culliver, who is set to play for the San Francisco 49ers in this weekend’s Super Bowl said in an interview that he didn’t think there were any gay players on his team, and that they wouldn’t be welcome if there were.

Mr Culliver since apologised, and said his comments were “hurtful and ugly”, and said they didn’t reflect his true feelings on the issue.

Both Mr Culliver’s team, and his coach, condemned the comments, and said there was no place for discrimination at the 49ers.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a pro-gay NFL player has since said that he hopes to start a positive dialogue about gay players in the NFL following the anti-gay comments.

Ayanbadejo was previously involved in a controversy because he was criticised by a state delegate for speaking in favour of equal marriage.

In November, upon waking to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, he said it was “like Christmas”.