Even though openly gay college football player Michael Sam might have the “acceptance” of his teammates, it doesn’t mean the athletes at University of Missouri “support” homosexuality. The university’s quarterback, James Franklin, spoke to TMZ Sports about his teammate's choice to reveal his sexual identity.
"I don't drink. I don't curse. I don't support [homosexuality] -- but it doesn't mean I don't accept Michael," Franklin said. Like Sam, the QB just completed his senior year at U of M and is anticipated to be selected in the upcoming National Football League Draft.
Though Franklin might accept the 6-foot-2 and 260-pound player, it doesn’t mean he supports his sexuality. He went on to explain to the news site about the player’s August announcement to his teammates, which was revealed over the weekend: "I wouldn't say supportive, but accepting. A lot of people confuse supporting and accepting."
It seems that it comes down to a matter of respect for Franklin. "Michael respected us,” he said. “He didn't make us feel uncomfortable in the locker room." The player finished: "He can be whoever he wants to be. I'll be there for him no matter what."
The All-American defensive lineman made headlines over the weekend when he revealed to the national media that he's gay, which could make him the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL.
"I came to tell the world I'm an openly proud gay man," he said when he spoke to ESPN. He told his teammates first in August and then made the news public on Sunday.
"I understand how big this is," Sam to ESPN. "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."
EPSN wasn’t the only news outlet he spoke to. Sam added to The New York Times: "I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it. I just want to own my truth."
The NFL took to Twitter on Sunday to respond to Sam’s statement: "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage,” the league wrote. “Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."
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