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NFLPA prez: Players will accept Michael Sam “with open arms”

NFL Players Association Annual State of the Union Press Conference

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 31: Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFL Player’s Association, addresses the media at the NFL Players Association annual state of the union press conference in the media center on January 31, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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While employers line up to talk about how accepting they’ll be to openly gay draft prospect Michael Sam, the president of the players union said he doesn’t think it will be a problem in the locker room.

“I know that the union will accept him with open arms, as will our players,” NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth said, via ESPN.

Foxworth acknowledged the Missouri defensive end might encounter some “difficult patches,” he thought players would accept him.

“The team’s gonna build up around their teammate, and it’s going to galvanize the team,” Foxworth said. “Everyone’s talking about how this could disrupt the locker room. Some NFL locker rooms need disrupting, to be frank. Coaches go through a lot of different things to try to build a bond between the team, and what’s going to build a bond more than having a player that all the guys know is kind of a target for opposing fans and maybe a target for opposing players?

“That type of stuff is what makes you build up around a guy, and Missouri seemed to have a pretty good season. So I expect whatever team he goes to is not going to be adversely affected. If anything, they could be positively affected by adding a man like that.”

The fact Sam confided in his Missouri teammates last August, and they had a 12-2 season while he recorded 11.5 sacks speaks to the fact it’s possible. Having the union behind him doesn’t hurt, either.