Minnesota Vikings defensive end Lawrence Jackson would not have a problem lining up next to the NFL’s first openly gay player. He also believes players in the Lions’ locker room, where he spent the past three seasons, wouldn’t have a problem with a gay teammate.

“I don’t think it would be a problem at all,” Jackson said. “When I think of a ‘problem,’ I think of guys talking down to him or stuff like that. I don’t think that will happen in any locker room.”

Last week, NBA center Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete in one of the major American team sports. Collins’ announcement was potentially American sports’ biggest watershed moment since Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

Jackson sees parallels between white baseball players’ varying acceptance of Robinson and straight NFL players’ varying acceptance of a gay player. “You have some guys who inherently will be comfortable around a gay player,” he said. “Some guys will be uncomfortable around a gay player.

“But I don’t think that that’s just the locker room. I think it’s a microcosm of what society is. We still haven’t gotten to a point where society as a whole can openly accept gay people. There’s people who do and there’s people who don’t.”