A former NFL player has again spoken out about having played with several openly gay teammates during his career.

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

Reflecting on changes from within the NFL, he said he thought the debate over openly gay athletes had been thrust into the public eye recently, but that players already knew they were playing alongside gay teammates.

“I think what has changed over the years is now that it has become public,” Vincent said on Thursday.

Speaking of Michael Sam, who recently came out as gay, and hopes to join an NFL team this year, he said he had been working with his team to prepare him for life in the league.

“In my 15 years in the NFL, I played with six openly gay players in the locker room. It’s a workplace and it’s up to those individuals to disclose their sexual orientation. We’ve also been working alongside Michael’s team, as a prospect and just preparing him for what life is like an NFL player … It’s nothing new for the players inside the locker room, but I think the player addressing that publicly is something we’re working on.”

He went on to say there was no issue with gay teammates, saying: “We won many football games. They were players. We didn’t see them as anything different. We were in the locker room together, we traveled together, they were roommates on the road together. We just looked at them as players. We didn’t treat them any different and I don’t think the players now look at them any differently.”