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Giants' Thomas: Problems could surface in locker room over gay player

Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- NFL prospect Michael Sam is "courageous" to acknowledge he is gay but could face problems in the locker room, New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas says.

After Sam, a defensive end at Missouri, announced last week he is a "proud, gay man," speculation grew about whether NFL teams would take him in this year's draft. Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch have said the team would not rule out selecting Sam.

"I think society is ready for it and America's ready for it, but I don't think the NFL is," Thomas told ESPN Tuesday. "As a player, all you want to know is if he can play. That's on the field. But in the locker room, it's different. There's a lot of talk and joking around, and some guys walk around completely naked all the time, and they might not want to do that anymore. When you add that situation to the mix, I think it's going to make some people uncomfortable."

Asked whether he has already played with gay players, Thomas, 29, said, "I'm pretty sure I have.

Thomas, who has spent six years with the Giants, said bringing in a gay player could result in "unwanted attention to your organization, unwanted questions that you have to answer," he said. "It puts a lot of pressure on certain people who don't want to be in that position.''

"I'm not saying he's selfish by any means," Thomas said "I know what he did is very courageous, a lot of people wouldn't do that, but at the same time no one really knows if the NFL is ready for it.''

Michael Sam Sr. told the New York Times he loves his son and hopes me makes it to the NFL, but he said he is "a man-and-a-woman type of guy" and is not comfortable with his son's sexuality.

"I don't want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment," he said.

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