This Pro Bowler Believes Every NFL Locker Room ‘Would Accept An Openly Gay Teammate’

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Despite the massive advances that LGBT individuals have made towards mainstream acceptance in American society over the past decade, there are still significant barriers to overcome.

Even leaving aside such fraught issues as North Carolina’s heinous bathroom bill HB2, an openly gay player still has never made a regular season roster in the NFL. According to perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, the league is ready for that to change.

“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,” Thomas told OutSports’ Jeremy Brener.

“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.”

The closest the NFL has ever come to having an openly gay player was Michael Sam, who was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams in 2014, though he was cut in training camp. In the NBA, Jason Collins came out near the very end of his career, but played in a couple of games after revealing his sexual orientation. It was a landmark moment, but American sports of all kinds are still waiting for the breakthrough in terms of a more prominent athlete, playing at the highest level, out and proud. We hope it happens soon.