Dolphins owner Stephen Ross became the latest important NFL figure to release a statement about Michael Sam's decision to publicly reveal that he's gay.

Ross said Miami would be open for Sam, the reigning co-defensive player of the year in the SEC, to join its roster.

“Michael Sam’s announcement is a significant step in sports and I respect the choice that he made publicly,” Ross said. “His announcement will have no bearing either way on our evaluation of him as a player. Dennis Hickey, Joe Philbin and I all agree on the same thing; we’ll draft the best players that can help us win football games, have high character and contribute to the community. If he is a member of our organization, Michael will be welcomed here with open arms as part of our family.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.