To hear 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tell it, the issue of having an openly gay player in the NFL isn't an issue at all.
As long as the player is held to the same standard as his peers.
"I think when he steps into that locker room, everyone’s going to know that he’s there to help us win games," Kaepernick told ESPN's Michele Steele during a joint interview alongside Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday. "And that’s why you’re in the NFL, to help us win games. No one cares if you’re black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Jewish, whatever it may be.
"That's your job. That's your occupation."
Kaepernick was asked if Michael Sam, the Missouri All-American defensive lineman and NFL Draft prospect who came out publicly the week before, would be welcomed into San Francisco's locker room.
"Yes," the quarterback said of Sam, who will participate in this week's Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and could become the league's first publicly gay player ever.
For his part, Newton agreed with Kaepernick, his foe on the field and friend off of it.
PHOTOS:<span style="color: #545865; font-family: 'Arial Regular', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 14.77199935913086px;"> </span>Kaepernick Hosts Award Show
"Colin said it best," Newton, who co-hosted the Cartoon Network's "Hall of Game" awards with Kaepernick on Monday night, told Steele. "We don't worry about each other outside of football. Of course we have, 'Are you OK, is there anything I can help you with?' but the main focus is, 'We're football players. We're here in this organization for one reason and one reason only, and if you're helping us to attain that winning success, then your personal life is your personal life.'"