Michael Sam and Jason Collins have changed the game and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has taken notice.
Collins became the first openly gay pro athlete to play in the four major sports — baseball, football, basketball, hockey — when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets late last month. Sam, a top NFL prospect, is slated to become the first openly gay football player (assuming he is, indeed, drafted in April).
To date, no professional baseball player has come out, but Ricketts thinks that could change soon, possibly even this summer.
"I don't think it's a big deal," Ricketts said on the Kap and Haugh show Wednesday. "It wouldn't suprise me if someone came forward this year or next year because there's so many guys out there playing.
"I don't think teams would overreact to that at all."
Cubs president Theo Epstein was among the group of MLB executives who would have no issue signing a gay player.
Following Sam's announcement, Jeff Samardzija admitted he and some of the other Cubs have already experienced playing alongisde a gay athlete, and it hasn't been a big deal.
"I think you have to give the players credit for accepting who people are and moving forward," Ricketts said.