Hall of Fame NFL defensive back Aeneas Williams told Outsports today that he would have accepted a gay teammate and that he expects Michael Sam's future NFL team to do the same.
"The goal was to win football games," Williams said. "That's our profession. I've had all kinds of teammates. I've had teammates from different backgrounds, different nationalities, it didn't matter. The goal is to get a group of guys prepared to win games on Sundays, and that was always the goal."
Williams is in Orlando for the NFL meetings, which convenes NFL owners, front office executives and coaches every year. Outsports is here covering the event.
Williams said while he doesn't know of any gay men he's played with in the past, he does have close family members who are gay.
He was also effusive about Sam, the NFL defensive end prospect who came out publicly as gay last month. Williams lives in Missouri and watched Sam play last season.
"Michael Sam has the ability to help NFL teams win on Sunday, and I expect to see him play," Williams said. "What Michael and coach Gary Pinkel and the whole group of players were able to do at Missouri in the second year in the SEC, when the first year they looked over-matched, to make the SEC Championship game, his entire team did a great job."
Williams will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. He is the pastor of Spirit Church in Ferguson, Mo.