A former NFL player has vowed to tackle issues faced in the locker room by gay players, and said in his career, he played alongside various openly gay players.

Former defensive back, Troy Vincent, was recently taken on by the NFL as executive vice president of football operations.

He has since said he worked with half a dozen gay players in the past, and provided a message of hope for NFL hopefuls such as Michael Sam – who recently came out as gay – that life in the NFL may be more accepting than anticipated.

“I’m not going to share their names, but in my 15 years, there were six individuals who were at least openly gay in the locker room,” Vincent said.

“From my days in Miami until I ended in Washington, they were just my teammates. Just like my family members … We ate together, we flew together, they’re roommates in hotel rooms. It was what it was.”

Vincent played in the NFL for over ten years with teams such as the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins,