palmerAnti-gay wingnuts have been bringing out that tired old trope ever since NBA center Jason Collins came out, the one about how they wouldn’t want to be in the showers with a gay person. As if Bryan Fischer or Matt Barber or Porno Pete have ever been athletes of such a caliber that they would be in a professional sports team’s locker room. So many of the actual athletes have been incredibly supportive, though, showing that they’re much more self-assured men than the anti-gay wingnuts I listed above.

Outsports has a new piece up where Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and around a dozen of the Indianapolis Colts express support for Jason Collins and moreover state that a gay athlete would be more than welcome on their teams:

Carson Palmer, new quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals after stints with the Bengals and Raiders, told the NFL Network (video here) that an openly gay teammate would have been accepted on any team he has played on.

“In our locker room I think he would be accepted very easily,” Palmer said. “I’ve been around the league a long time and you play with a lot of guys from a lot of different backgrounds, and that’s just the world we live in. I don’t think there would be any issues in this locker room. I think guys would accept him. All the locker rooms I’ve been in, in fact, since I’ve been in the NFL, I think he would be accepted very easily.”

Yep, not just on the teams, but IN THE LOCKER ROOMS, ya wingnuts. Why? Because normal grown-ups aren’t fixated on sex 24/7 and are able to conduct themselves like human beings the majority of the time. We understand that this is far removed from the average wingnut experience.

Look, it’s the Colts:

Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star visited the Colts locker room after the Collins revelation and said that of the dozen players he spoke with, all would be fine with an openly gay teammate.

“I think it’s a generational thing,” said punter Pat McAfee. “Our locker room, a younger generation, is very much more accepting because we’ve been around more gay people.

“In the recent years, gay folks have been much more open. A lot of us have gay friends and we kind of understand that they’re just like us, they’re just interested in different things.”

I’ve been reminded of that old adage this week, about how problems become a lot smaller once you choose to confront them head on. For the longest time, out gays in professional sports (especially in the macho culture of male sports) were unthinkable, a final frontier of sorts. Now that one has come out and the reactions have been so supportive, we can envision a time where a pro football player coming out is a non-event. The professional sports community is ready, and with a couple of obnoxious exceptions, they have shown that they won’t put up with anti-gay bigotry in their ranks, no matter what shivering wusses like Bryan Fischer have to say about it.