Count the Ravens among the NFL teams that wouldn’t have a problem with an openly gay player.
In light of Missouri defensive lineman and upcoming draft prospect Michael Sam’s public declaration that he’s gay, Ravens President Dick Cass spoke to BaltimoreRavens.com about the issue.
“I don’t think his being gay would be an issue at all for the Ravens,” Cass said. “We’re all about winning. If he’s a good football player who can help us win games, he will be welcomed here.”
Last year during a preseason football practice, Sam told his teammates at Missouri that he was gay. According to the New York Times, Sam’s teammates nodded their heads as if they were glad he finally came out.
“I was impressed by the support he received from his teammates and coaches at the University of Missouri,” Cass said. “He obviously knows how to be a good teammate.”
Sam went on to have a stellar season, notching 11.5 sacks and being named the SEC’s defensive player of the year and a first-team All-American. He’s projected to be a mid-round draft pick.
The Ravens made contact with Sam at the Senior Bowl, as they do with nearly every NFL prospect.
Some pundits have said the Ravens would be among the few teams that could handle the added attention that would come with an openly gay player, both from the perspective of acceptance and media coverage. Baltimore has a strong locker room and front office leadership.
“I’m disappointed it is such a big issue in 2014,” Cass said.