Robert Kraft: Owner Welcomes Openly Gay Players on the New England Patriots
“We’re about winning, and [if] someone can come in here and help us win,” Kraft said this week, via NESN.com. “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.”
Kraft is now the second member of the Patriots organization to publicly support openly gay players in the NFL. About a month ago, Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski said he would gladly accept a gay player on the roster if he had the necessary talent to play.
Kraft commended Jason Collins for becoming the first active player in one of the four major professional sports leagues to openly come out as gay.
“My hearty congratulations to him,” Kraft said, applauding the 14-year NBA veteran.
There are currently no active gay players in the NFL. Outside of Gronkowski and former Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, few players have stood up and braced the potential of an openly gay person playing in the NFL.
Kraft became the first owner to give a message of acceptance for gay players.
I believe gay players will feel more comfortable coming out if the owners openly embrace homosexuals on their roster, just like Kraft did. Still, I do not feel a gay player has to come out because it their choice to conceal or admit their sexual orientation.
Many polls and articles suggest that the NFL will be the last of the four major professional sports leagues to have an openly gay player on a roster. That is depressing news because players’ sexual orientation does not affect their play on the football field. Maybe an NFL player needs to be as courageous as Collins to start the trend of openly homosexuals in the league, or maybe owners like Kraft, can continue to send an unequivocal message of support for homosexuals in the league.