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Saturday, February 22, 2014
Pagano: Sam wouldn't be locker room issue

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- To no surprise, Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam was the center of attention during the media portion of the NFL scouting combine on Saturday.

Sam spent a significant amount of time answering questions about his sexual orientation. He publicly acknowledged that he is gay two weeks ago.

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Sam’s sexual orientation would not be a problem inside their locker room.

“I love the environment we’ve created, the culture we’ve created,” Pagano said. “I think we have an outstanding locker room. The Colts never have and never will discriminate based on sexual orientation. We look at the player. We’ll evaluate him just like we evaluate everybody else. If he can help our team and help us win football games, he’ll be more than welcome.”

Pagano’s comments back up what many of his players said two weeks ago: The Colts treat each other like brothers by having a family-type atmosphere inside their locker room.

“Love is love to me,” punter Pat McAfee said Feb. 9. “As long as folks are happy, I'm happy. There are a lot of bigger issues in the world, and happiness and love are things we shouldn't be restricting.”