Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins told NorthPointe High School in Grand Rapids last Friday that if he ever had an openly gay teammate, he would welcome him on the team and try to help him find Christ.
"From a football standpoint, if the guy can help us win, come help us win," Cousins said during the Q&A portion of his talk, as reported by MLive.
Cousins went on to say that although he believes that homosexuality was a sin, he did not see it as greater than other sins that his fellow Redskins might have committed.
"Now, there are a lot of teammates in my locker room right now who may not have a homosexual lifestyle, but they have sins, too. They're not perfect. So I don't say they can't help us win. Nobody's perfect," he said. "To that degree, we'd welcome him into our locker room and say come help us win, and hopefully I can love him like Jesus and hopefully show him what it means to follow Jesus."
Not all members of the Washington football team would be comfortable with a gay man on the team, some players anonymously told CBS D.C.
"I think some guys would kind of shy away from him a little bit… maybe three or four guys," the anonymous player said. "But for the most part he'd be accepted."
Another player said that despite what his teammates might say to the media, it may not be reflective of their actual sentiments and feelings.
"The political correct things are almost a must among teammates," another player said. "There might be a little bit of separation outside of the locker room. It's not like college where you're all in dorms together. Some guys are married, some have families."
Cousins replaced Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was deactivated by then coach Mike Shanahan. The Redskins did not make the playoffs in 2013 after winning their division the year before and Shanahan was fired at the end of December. Washington has since named Jay Gruden head coach.
Cousins has since been the subject of trade rumors, though he is currently still on Washington's roster.
Michael Sam will likely become the first openly gay NFL athlete in May when he is expected to be drafted in the NFL in the third or fourth round. The former University of Missouri senior and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year publicly announced that he was gay last month.