NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — DeMario Davis has his beliefs as a Christian, and he has his beliefs about respecting others.
For the Jets linebacker, the latter trumps all.
“I want people to understand how DeMario Davis feels versus how the Jets feel. How we feel as an entire organization? We’re about winning. It’s a business of winning,” Davis told the New York Daily News about the potential of having a gay teammate. “Anybody that can help our team, we’re more than happy to have them. It’s that same open-arms approach: we respect all in our locker room. We love all in our locker room.”
Davis made his faith-based feelings clear in the interview, which was published to the paper’s website late Thursday.
“If someone was to come out on our team, we’re a team that’s about winning,” he said. “When it comes to the (Jets), I put my personal beliefs separate from the team.”
“According to the scriptures, and God’s law, homosexuality is wrong. The act is wrong,” added Davis, who was selected by New York in the third round of the 2012 draft. “I’ve got homosexuals in my family who I love to death. I’ve got drunks in my family. I’ve got people who have premarital sex in my family. And I don’t agree with any of those things, but I still love and respect those people.”
NBA free-agent-to-be Jason Collins recently made history as the first openly gay male professional athlete in a major American team sport.
Acceptance has been a hot topic in the NFL, and it’s been said that a small group of football players could come out on the same day.
“Here at the Jets, we welcome diversity regardless of an individual’s religion, race, color or sexual orientation,” a Gang Green spokesman told the Daily News.
Outsports.com co-founder Jim Buzinski said Davis’ religious beliefs “are kind of irrelevant of the subject” and he’d evaluate the linebacker “literally on how he treated a teammate.”
“That’s obviously a fairly big change in some ways from the past when they used to use religion as a reason to not welcome (gay teammates),” Buzinski told the Daily News. “So in some ways I guess it’s a small victory.”
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs told WFAN radio in February that a gay teammate would have no problem in Baltimore’s locker room.
“It comes down to religion, and there are certain things that guys are allowed to disagree on,” Suggs said. “But this is America, and you get to have your opinion and you get to have your beliefs. Like I said, in our locker room we accept everybody for everything. Our No. 1 goal is to come together, and let’s win some football games — not to scrutinize a person on his personal beliefs or his sexual orientation.”
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