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Steelers, Lions have shown good, bad and bizarre on LGBT issues

#LGBTSNF: 7 LGBT storylines from Pittsburgh at Detroit

Jacksonville Jaguars v Detroit Lions
Lions kicker Matt Prater would welcome a gay teammate.
Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Each week we’ll be taking a look at the NFL teams involved in the Sunday Night Football game and track their record — team, coaches and players — on LGBT issues.

This week, the 5-2 Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Detroit to play the 3-3 Lions. Here are the LGBT angles for the game this week.

The good

Current players are very supportive of having a gay teammate.

"It doesn't matter if you're gay or if you're straight," Steelers backup QB Landry Jones said. "If you can play the game of football, you're going to be on a team and you're going to have a job. Just like if you're in a regular business setting. If you can do your job well, you can do your job. You can get paid and earn a living and provide for your family, whatever your family looks like."

“Everybody should be equal and treated the same,” Lions kicker Matt Prater said. “We would treat any [gay] player with open arms. We are all family in the locker room. I don’t think it would be a big deal or anybody would care too much. Especially if they are good ball players, we welcome them all. We just want to win football and try to win games.”

In 2015, Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy donated 100 tickets to a Pride Day at Ford Field against the Minnesota Vikings.

The bad

Each team has had major incidents involving gay slurs being used.

In 2003, then-Lions General Manager Matt Millen called an opposing player a “faggot.” He later issued a non-apology apology.

In 2006, then-Steelers linebacker Joey Porter was fined $10,000 by the NFL after calling an opponent a “faggot.” Porter is the team’s linebacker coach.

The bizarre

One strangely recurring story is the one dealing with rumors and denials by former Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart that he is gay. We’ve written a half-dozen stories over the years, because Stewart periodically goes public to deny another rumor.

While with the Steelers in the 1990s, Stewart addressed the team and denied the rumors, which were spreading in Pittsburgh at the time. The fact that his then-wife was on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Stewart would make occasional appearances helped keep the story alive in recent years.

Outsports prediction for the game: Detroit 20, Pittsburgh 17. I am 0-3 picking these games, which ensures a Steelers win. Pittsburgh is an odd team that has lost as a big favorite to the Bears and Jaguars but beat a then-unbeaten Chiefs team.