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Published February 10, 2014, 04:59 PM

Majority believe NFL is ready for openly gay player

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Football fans and players alike are talking about Michael Sam's announcement. They’re wondering about the level of tolerance in the NFL.

By: Drew Trafton, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Football fans and players alike are talking about Michael Sam's announcement, they’re wondering about the level of tolerance in the NFL.

ESPN conducted a nationwide opinion poll Monday. The question asked point blank: Is the NFL ready for an openly gay player? 64% of the country responded by saying yes, it is.

In North Dakota and Minnesota that percentage was even higher, with 68% of the public saying they thought the league was ready.

We posed the same question to a former NFL athlete, Chad Stark, who lives in Fargo.

Chad Stark - Former NFL Player: “If you're a good player, the NFL doesn't care if you're a female, if you're gay, white, black; they're going to get you on the field. So, the game transcends, you know, those issues."

Attempts to find or reach out to a local gay athlete were unsuccessful.

State Representative Josh Boschee, himself an openly gay elected official, told me he believes the perception from the local gay community is that this story will only gain traction initially, and won't advance in to a deeper conversation, causing many of those voices to remain silent.

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