ORLANDO, Fla. — Former NFL player Wade Davis' speech to the owners, coaches and general managers delivered a significant message about sexual orientation in sports, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday.
Goodell had previously met with Davis, who is gay, "and I found his message to be very important for all of us to hear."
"He was talking about (how) he's professional, he's part of the family that we all are in the NFL and he just wants to make sure that he provides that kind of workplace where people can go and play football, and be comfortable playing football," Goodell said. "He wants to work to help us do that. He recognizes everyone's not an advocate or someone who's going to carry the flag, but these young men who want to play in the NFL, they want an opportunity. Our job is to make sure we provide the opportunity."
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam could become the first openly gay player in the NFL if he is drafted next month. He is expected to be a mid-round choice.
What knowledge did Goodell want NFL teams to take from Smith's appearance at the owners meetings?
"Just a better understanding of what these young men are thinking about, going through," he said, "and what they can do to provide them the right opportunity and the right environment. That's the key."