Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay this month and it sent the media into overdrive.
But one of the most respectable parts about the whole situation - apart from Sam's actual coming out - was how well Missouri dealt with a gay player in the locker room.
But apparently it wasn't easy all the time.
Strength coach Pat Ivey admitted that it was crucial Missouri stopped all offensive language before it escalated.
Ivey said it was up to him, the coaching staff and the players to rid the locker room of gay slurs and homophobic language.
"There was that going on. But who’s supervising the environment? Who’s educating that young freshman? ‘Hey, that’s not the right thing to say. You may have said that for your first 18 years but for the rest of your life, or at least the rest of your time at Missouri, you won’t use gay slurs.
You won’t use racial slurs. You won’t use sexual innuendo. You won’t do that here,’” Ivey said at the combine in Indianapolis.
“That’s on Coach Pinkel. That’s on Mike Alden (Mizzou director of athletics). That’s on me. Every day we’re talking about respect. I have to do it often. ‘Hey, pull your pants up. That’s disrespectful to show your underwear. Hey, let the lady get a nutrition bar first.’ We talk about that every day.”
It still beggars belief that there is talk about an NFL locker room not being able to deal with a gay player, when there is such an incredible precedent to draw upon of younger and less mature athletes coping themselves.
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