If an NFL player decides to come out as gay, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians isn't worried about how the players would react, he's more concerned about the fans.
"I don't think the locker room would have any problem with it," Arians said on Wednesday, via FOXSports.com. "The problem would be with the fans. I think especially opposing fans. Some of the things that are said are so over the top and out of control that I can imagine what some fans would say to an openly gay player."
Arians is probably somewhat right, and if you use your imagination, you can probably think of a few words an inebriated opposing fan might use.
That being said, Arians doesn't think an Arizona player coming out would affect the Cardinals locker room.
"As a coach I can probably speak for our players, too. I don't think anybody would have any problem with it," Arians said.
As for the fans having a problem with a gay athlete, Arians isn't alone in his thinking. Former NBA star and current TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley feels the same way.
"Fans and the regular public are a lot more homophopic than players, so I 100 percent agree with Bruce Arians," Barkley said on 97.5 WPEN-FM in Philadelphia, via ArizonaSports.com. I'm glad he had the courage to say that because a lot of coaches, you know, they kiss up to the people, but I respect that."
If there is a backlash against a gay player, the league will be prepared for it.
"Our league and team security people would be ready to monitor any kind of public reaction that might not be appropriate, including scrubbing social media," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in April. "We would assist the player in dealing with any adverse public reaction of any type, if there is any. Hopefully there wouldn't be and it would be a non-issue, which it should be."
The problem for the league is that it's not a non-issue or else people would stop talking about it. And it will probably remain an issue that players and coaches are asked about until a player actually comes out.