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All teams in NFL playoffs have gay-supportive players or coaches

Players on NFL playoff teams say they would support having a gay teammate

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs resume this weekend and every one of the teams has a player or coach who has said something publicly supportive of having a gay teammate or of LGBT issues.

We have asked LGBT-related questions to players every chance we get over the years and here is what they told us (Story updated to reflect wild card results).

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs (#1 seed)

Tight end Travis Kelce would support a gay teammate. “Anybody in this world [can play]. I’m comfortable with who I am and I expect everyone to be comfortable with who they are. I respect people for their views and opinions.”

In addition, the last NFL player to come out as gay, Ryan O’Callaghan, played for the Chiefs and credits team personnel with helping him with his struggles.

New England Patriots (#2 seed)

O’Callaghan also played for the Patriots and team owner Bob Kraft is a huge supporter of O’Callaghan and of LGBT rights in general. At last year’s Super Bowl, a group of Patriots offensive lineman were enthusiastic in their support of a gay teammate.

Houston Texans (#3 seed) Eliminated

Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins has a lesbian sister and says this about playing with a gay teammate: “I would be more than happy, I would greet them with open arms. They’re my teammates, that doesn’t make them any different.”

Baltimore Ravens (#4 seed) Eliminated

Star linebacker Terrell Suggs: “Asked if he would have a problem with a gay teammate, Suggs answered, ‘Absolutely not.’ Suggs then added that the rest of the team would welcome a gay teammate as well.”

Los Angeles Chargers (#5 seed)

Defensive back Casey Hayward on playing with someone gay: “I’d be open arms to whoever. Can’t control what you feel, with who you want to be with, things like that. I’d be open to it, open arms to whoever.”

Indianapolis Colts (#6 seed)

One reason I root for quarterback Andrew Luck: “It’s the 21st century and I know I would have absolutely no problem with [a gay teammate]. I hope no one would treat them any differently than any straight player, no special treatment -- he’s just another guy. It’s none of our business, sexual preference of people.

“I hope that if someone is thinking about it and they do come out as gay as a professional football player and it makes them happy and it makes their life easier, than I think they should do it. When it does come, I’d be disappointed if there was a negative reaction among players.”

NFC

New Orleans Saints (#1 seed)

Head coach Sean Payton: “This history of our league has had players of every state, every color, every creed,” Payton said of Michael Sam when the out gay player was making his NFL preseason debut. “I think the same thing would apply [with Sam].”

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Rams receiver Robert Woods
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams (#2 seed)

Receiver Robert Woods when Jason Collins came out in the NBA: “Publicly, does it really matter? Everybody has their own sexuality. Why’s it such a big deal about his story? It is what it is.”

The Rams have also supported LGBT pride events in the L.A. area.

Chicago Bears (#3 seed) Eliminated

Running back Jordan Howard on a gay teammate: “I’m pretty sure we would be supportive. We’ve been bonding together and that wouldn’t change anything too much.”

Dallas Cowboys (#4 seed)

Owner Jerry Jones said, “I want me some glory hole.” Can’t get more gay-supportive than that!

On a more serious note, former Cowboy Jeff Rohrer is the first married gay ex-NFL player. Guard Connor Williams wore cleats with an anti-bullying message this year.

Seattle Seahawks (#5 seed) Eliminated

Quarterback Russell Wilson moved his wedding from North Carolina when the stare enacted anti-LGBT legislation, while star receiver Doug Baldwin said of a gay teammate, “it wouldn’t bother me.”

Philadelphia Eagles (#6 seed)

Quarterback Nick Foles would welcome a gay teammate: “Their personal preference is who they are as a person. It’s not going to affect anything. They’re still who they are. I’m going to treat them the same way.”