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Robert Kraft would welcome a gay player on the New England Patriots

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Robert Kraft would welcome a gay player on the Patriots (USA Today Sports Images)

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of the most influential figures in the National Football League and has congratulated Jason Collins for becoming the first male athlete in one of the four major sports leagues to reveal that he is gay.

Kraft added that he would support a gay player on the Patriots.

“We’re about winning, and (if) someone can come in here and help us win, I don’t care what ethnic background, what racial background, what gender preference they have," Kraft said via Luke Hughes of NESN.com "If they can help us win and they’re about team then I’ll be happy to have them here."

With marriage equality on a nationwide basis becoming more and more of an inevitability, and more NFL players from diverse backgrounds speaking out in support of that issue, there have been reports that one or more players in the NFL were going to come out of the closest this offseason.

While it's yet to be seen if any NFL players will actually come out of the closet, the New England area might actually be a good place for an athlete to do so.

On Thursday, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed a marriage equality bill into law, making the state the tenth in the United States to approve same-sex marriage. Of those 10 states to approve marriage equality, all six of the New England states have done so.

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