What this NFL player has to say about gay players hopefully shows times are changing
Another NFL player has spoken out to say that any gay player would be welcome in his locker room in a hopeful sign that times are changing for potential out professional athletes.
Joe Thomas, an offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns, spoke to Outsports to say that locker rooms are much more accepting.
Michael Sam came out as gay in 2013, and had brief spells with some NFL teams
Noting Brad Thorson, who played with Thomas at the University of Wisconsin, came out as gay, but never went on to play in an NFL game, Thomas commended him as a teammate.
He said: “In college, Brad Thorson was one of my good friends and teammates, a friend of mine. He was not out when we were playing together and he came out a couple of years ago.”
Of the atmosphere towards gay players in locker rooms in general, Thomas adds: “It’s amazing the opinions in the locker room have changed 180 degrees from when I first started playing football to where they are right now.
“I think every locker room in the NFL would accept an openly gay teammate with open arms, where it was such a taboo thing to even talk about when I first got into the league. That speaks to the tremendous progress that LGBT issues have had in our country in such a short period of time.”
Michael Sam – a former defensive tackle – was the first out gay player to be drafted to an NFL team in 2014 and has since had brief spells with the NFL’s St Louis Rams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
Despite his earlier success, he crashed out of the sport citing mental health issues.