Before Missouri defensive end Michael Sam ever came out and shared with the world that he is gay, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma made a controversial comment about a hypothetical gay player on his team.
“I think that he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted,” Vilma told NFL Network. ”I don’t want people to just naturally assume, like, ‘Oh, we’re all homophobic.’ That’s really not the case. Imagine if he’s the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me. How am I supposed to respond?”
Now that there is a gay player about to enter the NFL, it isn’t a hypothetical situation anymore. Vilma is now apologizing and trying to clarify what he meant.
“It was a poor illustration of the example I was trying to give on the context, so I do apologize for that,” Vilma said Monday night on CNN, via theNew Orleans Times-Picayune. “I was trying to explain that whenever you have change into something that’s been set in stone for so long, something that’s been going for so long, that change always comes with a little resistance. . . .
“You have people that can be more outgoing, more open-minded. You have people that are a little more close-minded. Some people grew up with or without the acceptance of gays within their families. You have a lot of different elements within the locker room that you just don’t see right now. Me being on the inside for 10 years, inside the locker room, I’ve been around that.”
Topics: New Orleans Saints