Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay last week, becoming the first active NFL player to do so in the process. Prior to Nassib, many NFL players have come out following the end of their playing career. Former Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith shared his support for Nassib this weekend and also spoke about the 90s-era teams.
“To those of us in NFL locker rooms, this is not necessarily breaking news. We had a gay player in our locker room,” Smith told TMZ Sports. “I think it was the mid- to late-90s and I think we might have had two but that wasn’t what we were focused on.”
Smith played with the Bills from 1985 through 1999, with hundreds of teammates.
“We were focused on winning games and each and every person that was in that locker room contributing to the goal at hand which was winning football games. None of that other stuff mattered,” said Smith. “This was about winning football games and trying to be a good person.”
Part of the reason Smith is speaking out and mentioning his former teammates is because he wants to set the record straight on how NFL locker rooms are portrayed. He says locker rooms are more inclusive than many people think and that players have accepted gay teammates in the past.
“Obviously, we like to see the inclusion part,” said Smith of Nassib. “We like to see folks that understand that the world is changing and you have to embrace those that may be a little bit different and it’s okay.”
You can watch the entire clip below (except on Apple News):