Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers says common sense shows there are gay players in Major League Baseball and he would “absolutely’ welcome a gay teammate.

The star pitcher acknowledged that a gay player could be hesitant to come out openly for various reasons but that he would be accepted by the Tigers. He told CNN in an interview:

"I don't think one of our players would be scared to come out. We got 25 guys, it's a family, and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don't see how that affects the ultimate goal of our family."

Bravo to Verlander for using “sexual orientation” as opposed to “preference” or “lifestyle.” His comments contrast with those of a new Tiger, Torii Hunter, who said he would be uncomfortable with a gay teammate; Hunter later said the quote was misinterpreted.

Here is Verlander's interview (the gay question happens at 1:50):