Torii Hunter made headlines a few months ago when he said having an openly gay teammate would be “difficult and uncomfortable.” One of his fellow Detroit Tigers feels very differently.
Justin Verlander told CNN’s Carol Costello on Tuesday that he would “absolutely” be accepting of an openly gay teammate. The Cy Young winner also took it a step further, saying that he doesn’t believe the Tigers locker room would be threatening place for a gay player.
“Yeah, I don’t see why not, given the right situation, and a team that’s a family atmosphere, and I feel like we have that atmosphere here,” Verlander said. “I don’t think one of our players would be scared to come out. We got 25 guys, it’s a family, and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don’t see how that affects the ultimate goal of our family.”
An active player in the four major professional sports has yet to come out as gay, but Verlander says he’s certain there are gay players on current major league rosters.
“I’m sure there are,” he said. “I think as with any sport, a gay player would be hesitant to come out, but the sheer number says there absolutely is.”
Check out the full interview in the video below.