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Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton would welcome Michael Sam as a teammate

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49ers and Panthers star quarterbacks say that a player's sexual orientation is not important to winning.

Colin  Kaepernick, left, and Cam Newton
Colin Kaepernick, left, and Cam Newton
Ezra Shaw

Star quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Cam Newton are the latest NFL players to voice their support for Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive lineman who came out as gay last week in anticipation of the NFL Draft.

"I think when he steps into that locker room everyone's going to know that he's there to help us win games," Kaepernick told ESPN's Michelle Steele. "And that's why you're in the NFL, to help us win games. No one cares if you're black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Jewish, whatever it may be. ... When you step on that field, you're a member of, in my case, the 49ers, or the Carolina Panthers. That's your job, That's your occupation."

As Kaepernick said this, Newton nodded in agreement. He added that Sam would be welcome in the Panthers locker room, saying, "if you're helping us attain that winning success, your personal life is your personal life."

We keep hearing more and more players say things like this, basically shrugging when asked about playing with a gay teammate. These two star quarterbacks are both young and from a generation that has grown up knowing gay people as classmates, friends and even teammates. For these guys, it's no big deal.