BOSTON (CBS) — The big story in the sports world on Monday is former Missouri football player Michael Sam, an NFL prospect who announced on Sunday night that he is gay.

The news has spurred debate in the football community, with some scouts speaking anonymously to reporters and saying the league is not ready to handle an openly gay player.

Yet Patriots owner Robert Kraft, speaking with the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley, doesn’t share any such concerns.

“If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system,” Kraft told Buckley. “He’d gain strength by being in here. And it wouldn’t be divisive and he’d make friends for life and they could help him win. I really believe that.”

Kraft did tell Buckley that the team is interested in anyone that can help the team win, regardless of background, and that he would encourage Bill Belichick to draft a player like Sam if it was a decision that would help the team.

The fact that Sam announced he’s gay to his team prior to last season impressed Kraft, who said people are simply more receptive to such announcements nowadays.

“I think it’s good for America,” Kraft said.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted the following commentss from Belichick: “We evaluate all the players, including Michael Sam, based on who they are and who can best contribute to our team. … They all have strengths, they all have weaknesses. No two are identical. Our scouting staff has performed extensive work on him.”


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