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Justin Verlander would have no problem with gay teammate

Mar 5, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Five Getty Images

In an interview with CNN’s Carol Costello today Justin Verlander made it clear he’d have no problem playing alongside a gay teammate, saying:

I wouldn’t mind it. … We got 25 guys, it’s a family, and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don’t see how that affects the ultimate goal of our family.

Asked if there are gay players in MLB currently and whether they should feel comfortable coming out, Verlander said:

I’m sure there are. I think as with any sport, a gay player would be hesitant to come out, but the sheer number says there absolutely is. Yeah, I don’t see why not, given the right situation, and a team that’s a family atmosphere, and I feel like we have that atmosphere here. I don’t think one of our players would be scared to come out.

Verlander’s comments about the team’s “family atmosphere” potentially making a gay player comfortable is interesting because his new Tigers teammate, Torii Hunter, recently said that having a gay teammate would be “difficult and uncomfortable” due to his religious beliefs (and then said he was misquoted).

Whatever the case: Good on ya, Justin.

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