Carolina Panthers: Michael Sam and the NFL

Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams said he would have no issue being on a team with an openly gay player.

"I could care less about a man's sexual preference! I care about winning games and being respectful in the locker room!" Williams wrote on Twitter after Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam acknowledged publicly that he is gay in an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Sunday.

If selected in the NFL draft in May, Sam -- The Associated Press' SEC Defensive Player of the Year -- would become the first openly gay player in league history.

Panthers cornerback Drayton Florence, an unrestricted free agent, was asked on Twitter if it would "be a little awkward" in the locker room having a gay teammate.

"No comment but it can be a distraction in the locker room. At least he's open with it ... much respect!" Florence responded.

Esera Tuaolo, a former Carolina defensive lineman who said publicly in 2002 he was gay after retiring from the NFL, wrote on Twitter, "Breaking news! I'm proud of Michael Sam!!"

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