Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians feels that NFL locker rooms would be open to having a gay player in it. It’s the fans he thinks that would have a problem with it.
Arians spoke to FoxSports.com via telephone on the topic on Wednesday.
“I don’t think the locker room would have any problem with it,” Arians said. “The problem would be with the fans. I think especially opposing fans. Some of the things that are said are over the top and out of control that I can imagine what some fans would say to an openly gay player.”
The NFL has prepared itself in advance for any and all negative fan behavior toward gay players.
“Our league and team security people would be ready to monitor any kind of public reaction that might not be appropriate, including scrubbing social media,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today Sports back in April. “We would assist the player in dealing with any adverse public reaction of any type, if there is any.”
“Hopefully there wouldn’t be and it would be a non-issue, which it should be,” Aiello said.
The NFL Rookie Symposium – which begins on Sunday – will have speakers who will touch on the topic of sexual orientation, according to the NFL’s chief human resources officer, Robert Gulliver.
“The league plans to have former players, whom they are calling ambassadors, speak about the possibility of having a gay teammate and how to talk about these issues publicly,” Gulliver told ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday.
As part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, the league has a formal policy against sexual harassment.