US: Former Dallas Cowboys player Greg Ellis would be ‘uncomfortable’ with a gay teammate

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Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis spoke recently on the topic of NFL’s Michael Sam’s coming out, saying he would feel “uncomfortable” with a gay teammate.

In a recent ESPN Radio interview, Mr Ellis was asked about Michael Sam’s decision earlier this month to come out.

He said: “If [Sam] pats somebody on the butt — I hope ESPN don’t get mad and never have me back — but if he pats somebody on the butt, how is that to be received? If he does that how is that to be received? If he said, ‘Come on baby’?

“I called guys baby all the time on the football field, but when you have taken a stand and went and go public and say that, ‘I am gay,’ how is that going to be received? I’ve seen guys, I had guys on the Dallas Cowboys football team — I won’t mention names — who did not want you to pat them on their butt. So God forbid if you pat one of those guys on the butt it’s going to be a major problem.”

When asked whether he himself would be uncomfortable playing alongside a gay teammate, he added: “I would. I would.

“People who’ve never been in an NFL shower room, not just locker room, it’s a open room. We don’t have private curtains. It’s just an open-form shower, so everybody sees each in the nude.

“Well if you’re looking at men as if you’re looking at women or vice versa, how are those guys to receive that? I don’t know.

“I don’t know how they will receive that. But I do know it would be a situation where I would go to the coach and try to work something out to say, ‘Obviously this is going to be a problem. What can we do? The kid can help us play, can help us win football games. We need him on the team. But this situation right here, we need to do something.’”

Last week, President Obama praised Michael Sam for announcing he is gay ahead of a critical moment in his career.