New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas is afraid about saying the wrong thing about a gay player in the NFL.
So he did anyway.
Thomas says he does not want the pressure of being asked about having a gay teammate because ‘they’re the kinds of questions where you have to think carefully about how you phrase things.’
With the coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam this week, Thomas just thinks all of the attention is too much for a league which has never had an active openly gay player.
‘The attention on him is going to bring attention to the team – unwanted attention, questions that the players, the coaches, the whole organization is going to have to answer – and that’s a lot for one player to carry by himself,’ he tells ESPN.com.
Thomas is also concerned about a player’s ability to walk around the locker room naked.
‘There’s a lot of talk and joking around, and some guys walk around completely naked all the time, and they might not want to do that anymore,’ he said. ‘When you add that situation to the mix, I think it’s going to make some people uncomfortable.’
Sam, who was out to his University of Missouri teammates all last season and presumably continued to shower and change with them, addressed the locker room concerns with ESPN.
‘I think it’s a stereotype that gay people are predators,’ he said. ‘It’s very offensive.’
“(My being gay) shouldn’t matter if I work hard, if I make plays,’ Sam added. ‘That’s all that should matter. … Can he help us win games. I can. … I’m happy with who I am – I know how to play the game.”
At least on the field, Thomas doesn’t think a gay player is a problem – for fans.
‘I think society is ready for it and America’s ready for it, but I don’t think the NFL is,’ he said. ‘As a player, all you want to know is if he can play. That’s on the field.’