clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hines Ward welcomes gay athletes, explains role of ignorance in the locker room

Hines Ward talks about welcoming a gay teammate and the teasing he experienced in the locker room as a biracial man.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward appeared on Meredith Vieira's daytime talk show today ahead of Super Bowl XLIX. Vieira, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, didn't shy away from asking Ward about having a gay teammate given the fact that Michael Sam is still without an NFL home. Ward said he would have absolutely no problem with having a gay man on his team as long as he could help said team win the Super Bowl. Ward won two of the big games with the Steelers and was MVP of Super Bowl XL.

Ward, who has said in the past that NFL locker rooms aren't "ready" for a gay athlete, also talked about the environment in the locker room and his experience there as a biracial man.

I get teased all the time. You have to have a thick skin. I'm called Bruce Leroy, Jackie Chan, stuff like that in the locker room. But that's what the locker room is all about. And it's just their ignorance about not knowing what biracial is all about or what a gay person is all about.

If that's what the locker room is all about, it shouldn't be. It is ultimately a place of business, a workplace. Nobody should have to hear that crap from their coworkers - though I understand completely that it goes on.

Ward is currently on NBC's NFL team and will be front-and-center in their Super Bowl coverage this weekend.

Check out more from Towleroad.