The majority of Washington Redskins players say they would have no problem with a gay teammate. Quarterback Kirk Cousins says the team would welcome a gay player to its locker room and that he would “love him like Jesus.”
“There are a lot of teammates in my locker room right now who may not have a homosexual lifestyle, but they have sins too," Cousins, an outspoken Christian, says. "So I don’t say they can’t help us win. Nobody’s perfect."
Cousins continues, “To that degree, we’d welcome them into our locker room and say, 'Come help us win,' and hopefully I can love him like Jesus and hopefully show him what it means to follow Jesus.”
In an interview with MLive last year after NBA player Jason Collins came out as a homosexual, Cousins called it a “very, very sensitive issue, and something I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to."
“But I think we need to show love to every single person on this earth," the 25-year-old quarterback said. "Jesus showed love to everybody.”
He added, “At the end of the day, anybody in our locker room who is struggling with something and isn’t perfect—which would be everybody in the locker room—my attitude would be that I want to show love to them in a way that shows them Jesus and hope that they can encounter the same love that I encountered from Jesus that saved my life.”
In light of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay, the NFL plans to increase efforts to promote tolerance of sexual orientation inside locker rooms. Sam will likely become the first NFL player to be openly gay.
CBS DC recently spoke to Redskins players on the condition of anonymity about how they would feel about having a gay teammate. One said he can think of a handful of his teammates who would have a hard time sharing a locker room with a gay man.
“I think some guys would kind of shy away from him a little bit … maybe three or four guys,” the player said. “But for the most part he’d be accepted.”
Another player said those who are disapproving of the gay lifestyle may be dishonest to the media due to pressure not to publicly express their opinion.
“The political correct things are almost a must among teammates,” the player said. “There might be a little bit of separation outside of the locker room. It’s not like college, where you’re all in dorms together. Some guys are married; some have families.”
For the most part, the players seemed supportive. It seems that the cure for any tension would be winning.
“As long as they see him making plays, the rest of the stuff won’t matter off the field,” a player said.