Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says team would welcome openly gay player
FEB 12, 2014 12:13p ET
While the public awaits results of an independent investigation into the Miami Dolphins locker-room culture, owner Stephen Ross said the team would welcome an openly gay player.
Ross' statement came three days after Missouri defensive lineman and NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam said he was gay.
"Michael Sam's announcement is a significant step in sports and I respect the choice that he made publicly," Ross said in a statement released on Twitter early Wednesday. "His announcement will have no bearing either way on our evaluation of him as a player. Dennis Hickey, Joe Philbin and I all agree on the same thing; we'll draft the best players that can help us win football games, have high character and contribute to the community. If he is a member of our organization, Michael will be welcomed here with open arms as part of our family."
Sam has been projected to be a mid-round pick in May's NFL Draft by some scouting experts.
The Dolphins' locker-room culture has been under the national media's microscope since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team in late October and accused teammates, namely guard Richie Incognito, of bullying.
Independent investigator Ted Wells, whom the league named to examine the Martin-Incognito scandal, was expected to release his findings sometime this or next week.