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Roger Goodell lauds Wade Davis' presentation to NFL officials

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Roger Goodell met with former player Wade Davis a few weeks ago in the NFL offices, and with all the recent hubbub about Michael Sam, whether he would be drafted and whether whichever team ultimately employs him will be OK with a gay player in its locker room, Goodell thought it'd be a good idea for Davis to talk to the league owners and coaches.

And now after rave reviews from coaches like John Fox and owners like Jerry Jones following Davis' presentation, Davis said various league officials and coaches have asked him about speaking to individual teams.

"I might share more of my personal stories with players, but I'm going to let them know that hey, we don't want to be treated any differently, we just want to be part of the NFL family too," said Davis, via USA Today, who participated in three training camps in the early part of this century and declared himself gay in 2012.

As for why Goodell invited Davis to the owners' meetings this week, the commissioner said, "I found his message to be very important for all of us to hear. He's part of the family that we all are in the NFL. He just wants to make sure we provide that workplace where people can go and play football and be comfortable playing football. He wants to help us work to do that. He recognizes not everyone is an advocate or someone who's going to carry the flag. But these young men who want to play in the NFL, they want that opportunity. My job is to provide that opportunity."

It's not just about Sam, though. As Troy Vincent, the new executive vice president of operations for the NFL, said Wednesday, he played with at least six openly-gay players during his career and that their sexual orientation was never an issue.

Goodell wants to make sure that mindset is still present today.

"Just a better understanding of what these young men are thinking about and going through in the right environment," he said. "That's the key."

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