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02/10/2014 03:11 pm ET | Updated Feb 11, 2014

Retired NFL Receiver Destroys Argument Against Gay Players

Former NFL player Donte' Stallworth doesn't buy the argument that an openly gay player would be too distracting for an NFL team to be successful.

In a series of tweets, the retired wide receiver responded to the suggestion -- floated by former NFL coach Herm Edwards -- that intense media attention may discourage teams from drafting gay players.

"Can the players handle the media attention they are going to get when they get the question asked, 'Are you okay with a gay teammate?'" Edwards asked in an ESPN interview Sunday night.

Stallworth, who last played for the New England Patriots, didn't mince words. If a team can't handle the media scrutiny of drafting a gay player, he wrote, "Your team is already a loser on the field."

On Sunday, Michael Sam, a former Missouri defensive lineman, made headlines around the country when he came out as gay. If drafted, as projected, Sam will be the NFL's first openly gay player.

Read Stallworth's full argument, below:

Herm Edwards posed a hypothetical question on epsn re: drafting Michael Sam, "can (GM/owner/coach) handle the media... with this situation?"

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

If any NFL team can't "handle the media coverage" of drafting Sam, then your team is already a loser on the field... let me tell you why...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

There are a multitude of issues that can arise in the long duration of an NFL season... some on the field, some off the field.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

You won't have any idea what that on the field/off the field situation is until it's already upon you and the entire organization...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Which means that with drafting Michael Sam, you get a jump start on controlling the "media coverage" right from the onset.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

If an organization is inept to the magnitude of not being able to control things with prior knowledge, how will you handle the unexpected?

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Case Study 1: The Miami Dolphins and the bullying scandal... players talked more about THAT than they did football... for weeks!

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

During that time I questioned (tweeted) why the Dolphins players were talking more about the scandal than their next opponent....

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Since the bullying story broke, the Dolphins finished the season 4-4...w/playoff hopes still alive, got spanked by division opp Jets, 20-7

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Case Study 2: The New England Patriots and Aaron Hernandez AND Tim Tebow situations...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Beyond the state of shock I endured after the revelations of Hernandez, I knew that if ANY organization could handle this, it was the Pats.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

This all happened right before training camp where players are supposed to come in w/clear minds in preparation for a long, rigorous season.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Not only were there questions about Aaron, but also about the health of Gronkowski and how those two combined affected the team as a whole.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Aaron is still awaiting trial & Gronk played in only 7 games this season...but yet the Pats seemed to avoid those "distractions" altogether.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Despite many season ending injuries to key pieces, the Pats finished 12-4 and lost to the Broncos in the AFC title with... ZERO distractions

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Not to mention the whole Tebow signing and (alleged subsequent) distraction wasn't even a blip on most radars... Why?

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

Because Mr. Kraft and Bill Belichick would not allow ANY of that to be a "distraction" to ANYONE in the entire organization...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

In my 10 years as an NFL player, I've played for 6 different teams & have been in every kind of locker room. Vet, young, mature, immature...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

The leaders of an NFL organization AND the locker room better be able to handle adversity that is certain to emerge during a long NFL season

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

In my experience, if your organization can't "handle media coverage", they will suck on the field anyway... but hey, there's always 2015...

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 10, 2014

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