Pats owner welcomes openly gay players at Gillette Stadium
Washington Wizards center Jason Collins broke into the spotlight last week, choosing to publically disclose his orientation after 11 seasons in the NBA. There were many who applauded Jason Collins and considered his coming out a game-changer towards the acceptance openly gay players in the four major sports leagues. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was also among those who congratulated Jason Collins this week as the first male active players in one of the four major leagues to reveal he is gay.
But Kraft chose not to distinguish players on field based on their orientation. Kraft sent out a unequivocal message of acceptance to all gay players giving hope that if they had the talent and distinguished themselves amongst the competition, then they would be welcomed by New England Patriots.
“We’re about winning, and [if] someone can come in here and help us win,” Kraft said this week in an interview. “I don’t care what ethnic background, what racial background, what gender preference they have, if they can help us win and they’re about team then I’ll be happy to have them here.”
It’s still arguable whether the NFL is yet ready for openly gay players. Kraft becomes one of the few NFL owners who’ve taken a clear stance on the acceptance of openly gay players at least on his team, and in the past few months several players have also shown indifference towards a player’s orientation as long as he’s a productive player and good teammate. But there have been other players who believe the NFL is still not ready for openly gay players and they could be shunned and isolated in the locker room.