Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has helped drive the conversation about homophobia in the NFL, wrote a piece for Salon.com in which he guarantees every NFL player has taken the field with a gay athlete:
If any NFL players happen to read this, I guarantee you’ve played with or against a gay player at some point during your career — that’s simple statistics. Guess what? It didn’t make him any less of a player. It didn’t make him any less able to push through conditioning drills, less able to stay awake during meetings, less able to rally for the win when down by 10 with four minutes to go in the game.
That gay player, whether you knew it or not — he was a teammate. He was your teammate. He was my teammate. Just like the coaches go on and on about every preseason: Once you step between those white lines, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, what you believe or when you were born. There’s only one thing that matters, and that’s "Can you play?"