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Hall of Famers believe openly gay player Michael Sam will be universally accepted in league

  • Accepting Michael Sam Football-1.jpg

    Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy signs autograph for fans at the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. With openly gay player Michael Sam about the be drafted into the NFL, Levy and several other Hall of Famers believe he will be readily accepted into the league and won't endure any discrimination. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)The Associated Press

  • Hall of Fame Fanfest Football-2.jpg

    From left: Hall of Famers Harry Carson, Barry Sanders and Jim Brown talk about the road to Canton with moderator Larry King, right, at the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)The Associated Press

  • Hall of Fame Fanfest Football-3.jpg

    Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller, right, signs autographs for fans at the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)The Associated Press

  • Hall of Fame Fanfest Football-4.jpg

    Hall of Fame cornerback Michael Haynes looks at a fan's replica Super Bowl trophy at the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)The Associated Press

The greatest players and coaches in NFL history believe openly gay defensive end Michael Sam, who is expected to be drafted next week, will be accepted in the league.

Lions running back Barry Sanders, Buffalo coach Marv Levy and other members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame applauded Sam's courage to step forward, and said with no hesitancy that the former Missouri player will be welcomed by whichever team selects him.

Levy, who led the Bills to four straight appearances in the Super Bowl, said Saturday at a "Fan Fest" event that his only consideration in drafting Sam would be "is he the best guy at his position when we're on the board?"

Hall of Fame cornerback Michael Haynes said the timing of Sam's decision to reveal his sexuality is good because previous generations were not as open-minded.

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