Robert Kraft: Michael Sam Can Play For Patriots If He Helps Team Win

Michael Sam, Pierce BurtonMichael Sam will be drafted by the New England Patriots if Bill Belichick thinks the Missouri defensive end can help the team win.

Owner Robert Kraft says the Patriots won’t discriminate against Sam because he’s the first openly gay NFL draft prospect.

“We’re about winning,” Kraft told the Boston Herald. “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference. If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here.”

Kraft told the Boston Herald that he has had discussions with Belichick about having an openly gay player on the team. The two have not spoken about Sam specifically.

Kraft also said the Patriots’ locker room would be the perfect place for Sam to gain acceptance in the NFL.

“If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system,” Kraft said. “He’d gain strength by being in here. And it wouldn’t be divisive, and he’d make friends for life, and they could help him win. I really believe that.”

Sam is a 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end who had 11.5 sacks in his senior season with the Tigers. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for his final college season. Sam announced he is gay Sunday night.

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