There has never been an openly gay player active in the NFL, so it's impossible to say for sure how one might be received -- by his teammates, opponents or fans.
But given the reactions and stories numerous players shared with Outsports.com's Cyd Zeigler at last week's NFLPA Rookie Premiere events in Los Angeles, our nation's most violent, testosterone-driven league might be far more ready for an openly gay athlete than many assume.
Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III, for example, said he's already played with a gay teammate before in high school.
"In the game of football, it's like a war out there," veteran defensive end Jevon Kearse told Zeigler. "Once you get out on the field, all that stuff is to the side. You're on my side. I played in the NFL for 11 years, I'm sure there were at least one or two guys along the line that were gay."
In the video below, Zeigler recounts his conversations with numerous players -- from incoming rookies like RGIII and Trent Richardson to recently retired veterans like Antonio Pierce and Eddie George -- who all indicated they would welcome an openly gay teammate.
"There's a stereotype that football players are homophobic but every time we talk to them they say very gay-positive things," Zeigler said.
You can read Zeigler's full article at Outsports.com, part of the SB Nation network. Also, don't miss Zeigler's conversation with Ahman Green, in which the former NFL running back laments the double-standard gay athletes face and discusses having a gay brother and lesbian sister.
In the video below, Zeigler talks to SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson about his discoveries while addressing this issue with dozens of NFL players: