Posted: 9:49 pm Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Mizzou’s Sam says he’s gay; will the NFL care? 

By Mark Bradley

Michael Sam rushes Aaron Murray. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Michael Sam rushes Aaron Murray. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Michael Sam, the SEC’s defensive player of the year, has revealed to the New York Times that he’s gay. The NFL, through spokesperson Greg Aiello, has offered its immediate Tweeted support, saying, “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage … We look forward to welcoming and supporting (Sam) in 2014.”

The big news — the glad tidings, to this way of thinking — is that an American football player has stepped forward in the way Jason Collins, an American basketball player, did last year. But what’s sobering is that, in the immediate aftermath of Sam’s declaration, SI.com ran a story by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans indicating that Sam might well have endangered an NFL career that hasn’t begun.

Wrote Thamel/Evans:

From a purely football perspective, his decision to come out prior to May’s NFL draft will make his path to the league daunting, eight NFL executives and coaches told SI.com. In blunt terms, they project a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock, a publicity circus and an NFL locker room culture not prepared to deal with an openly gay player.

For all the positive vibes that greeted Collins’ announcement — this correspondent called him “a hero” — it’s nonetheless true that Collins hasn’t played in the NBA this season. Maybe that could be explained away by his age (35) and that he was a career journeyman. But Sam was voted the top defender in the nation’s best football conference. If he gets drafted markedly lower than previous projections, or if he’s not drafted at all, what will that say about the NFL?

According to Thamel/Evans, Sam is projected as a third- to seventh-round draftee. (CBS Sports’ NFLDraftScout rates him the 90th-best player available, which would make him considerably better than a seventh-rounder.) He played defensive end at Missouri but isn’t really big enough to be one in the NFL, so there’s apt to be a position change involved. But, as one NFL scout told SI.com:

I just know with this going on this is going to drop him down. There’s no question about it. It’s human nature. Do you want to be the team to quote-unquote “break that barrier?”

And this is the part that gay people, from actors to athletes to common everyday folks, have always had to ask: “Will me saying I’m gay matter to those who might be interested in hiring me?” In a perfect world, the answer would be no. Our world, alas, remains less than perfect.

94 comments
romeo2
romeo2

First let me start by explaining what my opinion is based on. As a young boy I was approached  by a grown man who was a homosexual before I knew what one was, After this in counter  I have been very conscious  of this very large group of people. I am a Christian and I believe in every word that is in the bible . I was raised in a Christian home and raised my family in one. I don't believe anyone is born a homosexual I believe it is a choice. The bible says that homosexuality  is lust . These people fixed their focus on this un godly act and acted on it. Now we all have different urges be what ever they may be . Analogy these young men who go into a school and kill innocent children .Did not just get up one morning and go to those schools and start killing they thought and focused on it for a long  time before they acted on it. The same thing with homosexuals they did not have to be this was it is a choice. No one wants to be accountable for their actions not even this group . This behavior goes against god,  nature , and man . God destroyed two cities Sodom and Gomoia  because the homosexuals had taken over these cities in fact they wanted to have sex with two angles .I have a question if these people have no respect for god what respect will they have for anyone else. I believe that these people have hid in the shadows for years but through education have placed them selves in position where they can change laws. The media is driving this down our collective throats . If you are a heterosexual male the homosexual community hates you. These people are laughing at us  because they cant believe we bought into it. All I can say is god help us because this country is really in trouble. I am not talking to black men because they don't count they  given up their place as men in this society a long time ago. White women started this and black people followed.

KennethGrim
KennethGrim

I really do not understand what this debate is about, and I am a strong Christian hetero.  If the dude gets sacks, the dude gets sacks.


theoriginaltruth
theoriginaltruth

This entire thing, timing and all, was deliberately planned to "force" a team to draft him.....don't be naïve...if this were projected to hurt his "draft-ability" it would never have happened...


The NFL is falling all over itself to be sure he gets a higher than projected draft slot....

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

Just throwing a question out there..................why is everyone so worried about how his future teammates might react when there has been absolutely no voiced concerns about lesbian players and their teammates reaction in the WNBA? Double standards anyone?

JacketMan
JacketMan

The question NFL Scouts and GM's shouldn't be asking themselves whether or not to draft Sam because he's gay. They should ask themselves whether to draft him because he wanted NOT TO DISCLOSE the fact he was gay UNTIL AFTER THE DRAFT, and he was locked into a guaranteed salary.

He came forward now because he was about to be outed and is doing as much as he can to save face prior to the draft now. HOWEVER, the mere fact he said he didn't plan on coming out until after the draft, in my humble opinion, is deceitful. He was intending to withhold information that HE KNEW would bring a major fire storm to any team that drafted him after the fact. By not even giving them the opportunity to know what his intentions would be, he would have put any potential employer in a position they may not want to be, and they wouldn't have had a choice at that point.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Juliet needs to pop him upside his ear.

JaySly
JaySly

to really cash in, can michael write a book and do a reality series?  he can make big money!

NCDawg
NCDawg

Sadly, I think this is a ploy to put Sam into a better draft position by leveraging the politically correct aspects that any major corporation now follows.  The NFL is a corporate entity with 32 subsidiaries.  They can't be seen to allow an openly gay player get passed over too many times.  It will effect the teams but instead of harming his draft status he may gain from it.

BSNBC
BSNBC

Draft position will drop like a rock!

TideDawg
TideDawg

It doesn't matter what the NFL policy is on race discrimination or sexual preferences. The only thing that matters is what the team thinks about it. No grown men care what race a player is if he can play and help their team win. I'm not so sure that will be the case with a gay player. It will be a little uncomfortable in the shower for some of the macho men. Sam is obviously a great college player but what NFL team will take a chance on possibly disrupting the entire team by signing him.


The only reason his sexual persuasion matters is the fact that he chose to make it public. That is his personal business and my opinion is that he should not have mentioned it and continued his life without aggrandizing his sexual preferences. Why did he?? Was he trying to make a statement on behalf of other gay men? There are other gay men in the NFL and all major sports but you seldom, if ever, hear about them. That's the way it should be in my opinion. It's personal business and no more worthy of conversation than a player with a wart on his butt.

NCDawg
NCDawg

Who cares if he is gay or not.  I like good looking women.  Should I tell the whole world that I like good looking women?  Should anybody care that I like good looking women?  The answer is of course not.  This is a non story.

SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

SportsTopFan(c) would like to wish Michael Sam the best of luck and success !!!

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

play by play will be frought with unintentional double entendre. Joe buck grinning at the camera.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

I'm coming out that .......


Homosexuality is wrong.  A sin.  An abomination.  Very Deviate behavior.



dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

Saying you were "born this way" secures the "you need to accept me because this is who I am" argument. THere is a gene that tells us why some of us have blonde hair or red hair. Until science can prove there is gene that makes you gay it is just another "accept me for who I am" crap. Do you know how many people could argue they were "born this way" and this why they are who they are????

There are two sides to every argument. Those who believe you are born gay and that anyone who doesn't approve is simply a homophob. And those who believe the exact opposite.

THere are people who don't believe in God and believe that science proves everything. What is an atheist's opinion on homosexuality since there is no scientific evidence that someone is born gay.

Screw the other 70 people in the locker room as long as we don't make the openly gay guy and the guy still in the closet  feel uncomforatble. Only the gay guys have feelings.

96JB
96JB

Where will he shower? No really. Gotta make some guys uneasy. Gonna be tough on him....and his team. In a small segment of society it's all cool. In a NFL locker room, it's a problem

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

I am about as heterosexual as you can get but it is a personal preference just like Sam's has. As long as he can play football with the best of them I don't see why it should matter. I thing he is a better outside Linebacker than a Defensive End. Richt would have been playing him at the position he had the best chance at success at the next level but Missouri was more interested in what he could do at the College level . Does anyone really think that Marshall will be a Quarterback in the Pro's. Marshall will end up a Defensive Back just where Richt had him. 

CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

Will Sams sue the NFL on the grounds of discrimination if he's not selected by ??th round? If one is born gay then there must be a gene that ultimately determines behavior. If that gene can be isolated will the homosexual community become pro-life? A lot of interesting developments here.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Congratulations to Michael Sam.

Interesting he informed his Mizzu teammates prior to the Season -- it certainly divided their locker room. Winning the SEC East & the Cotton Bowl.

Nice job by his teammates & Pinkell's coaching staff by not "outing" the guy in this day of social media.

For the people who have a problem, I hate to bring reality to your doorsteps butt you've rooted for gay athletes, in fact you've rooted for multiple gay athletes w/o knowing it.

CedricJohnson
CedricJohnson

I hope the Falcons pass on Sams .... Not because of his sexual orientation ... but because something like this can divide and cause problems in the locker room ... If he were gay and no one knew it but him or if they only assumed he was gay it still wouldn't cause that much separtion but u openly admit it  will make players question a lot of his actions .... Nothing wrong with being gay but dont try and push your agenda on me ....

DoubleEE
DoubleEE

 I applaud MIchael Sam's forthcoming but why at this time. Before the combine and draft process.

I hear there were whispers already and that it was about to be leaked to the media.

It probably would have been better for Sam to wait until after he was drafted and put pen to paper (signed his contract). Or wait until after he played a year in the league (NFL).

Good luck to him.

MikeS777
MikeS777

My point being, it doesn't matter what you're background is or orientation.  Teams don't like locker room disruptions and will pass on you regardless of you're talent if that is what they feel you will bring.

MikeS777
MikeS777

On the subject of publicity circuses, I guarantee one reason why Tim Tebow is not in uniform anywhere, even though many teams are struggling at QB, is the fact that Tebomania follows him.  Any team that picks him up will have to deal with the pressure and constant media attention on what they do with him and why he's not in the game.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@NCDawg The NFL doesn't draft players, the teams do the drafting. I don't think any team in need of talent would intentionally draft a player that may further disrupt their team. If nobody wants him what can the NFL do. Sam made the decision....he has to live with that decision....right or wrong. Maybe the NFL can dictate who a team can draft.....but I don't think so.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@NCDawg You sure as hell are talking about this non-story a lot there sport.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@NCDawg Dawg. the fact that you said you like good looking women..not good looking men makes it a non story. However, I agree with your point. It shouldn't matter.....but it does.....some day it won't matter, but not anytime soon.

gotaenfuego
gotaenfuego

@dawgfacedboy  What does ANY of that have to do with his football ability? Either he can play or he can't. If he can, his sexual orientation is irrelevant. If he can't, his sexual orientation is irrelevant. Either way, it's unfair to hold it against him.

gotaenfuego
gotaenfuego

@96JB  So you find it justifiable to blatently discriminate against a class of people just because it might make other people uncomfortable? Mind you, the discrimination they face is CONSIDERABLY more severe than just being made to feel uncomfortable.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

JB.....He isn't going to be the 1st gay player in an NFL locker room.

gotaenfuego
gotaenfuego

@CreamofBuckwheat  In reality, whether or not a person is "born" gay is completely irrelevant. Whether or not there's a gene, it's not something a person can change as an adult. Why does it matter if it's genetic, something determined by a person's environment at a very young age, or some combination of the two? You're asking the wrong question.


Also, in science, "I don't know" is an acceptable answer. That no gene has been found to date doesn't imply one doesn't exist.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@CreamofBuckwheat  The answer is it depends.   Homosexuals aren't a protected class under federal law.   There may be other causes of action he could pursue, but it would be challenging to prove and choice of law would be extremely important.

ARdawg
ARdawg

@BigCrimson75 I have no sympathy or animosity for gays, the movement or their preference(s). I simply just do not care. However, Sams was a senior. A big loud member of the team and a big man on campus. Is it a surprise it was kept out of the limelight for one season? This day in age it is a surprise to me that it was but, it the bigger scheme of things, maybe not. He won't be the big man on campus as a rookie in the NFL. No such respect will be afforded him.  I highly doubt he'll find any or many coddling to his wishes or whims on an NFL team. Many folks still have a problem sharing intimate spaces with people of the same orientation. Even more so of the opposite one



BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Cedric.....It destroyed Mizzu's locker room this year didn't it?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@MikeS777

I thought Tebow wasn't in the league because 3 separate franchises looked at him and all realized he couldn't throw like an NFL QB?

TimeRacer
TimeRacer

@MikeS777  That's exactly why Tebow isn't in the league.  Of course, you won't see anyone crying about Christianophobia.  And if they did, the same  hypocrites who shower love onto Collins and this guy wouldn't give a flying damn.  They're smarter than those people..don't you know.  They believe in God and the bible....such roobs.


He's already shown he's a bad teammate because he has already subjected whatever locker room he ends up in to the media circus this supposed "hero" is going to bring with him.  I

NCDawg
NCDawg

@TideDawg @NCDawg sure the teams do but you can bet your bottom dolar that the pressure will be on from the top.  They wouldn't be dictating but the league office will make sure that "we won't have any of that".

Tampa2
Tampa2

@GeorgeStein @UnbiasedObserver 

Wow, you really came out strong in his defense.  It looks this story hit a nerve with you?  Could it be that you're a little "light in the loafers" yourself?  BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARdawg
ARdawg

@GeorgeStein @96JBGeorge do you think it acceptable for those in the NFL who disagree with Sams statement and coming out party to post it on twitter?....LOL....do you really expect to see some?

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Paulie.....Thank You!

Yea, Tebow was jettisoned outta the nfl b/c he's a Christain.....yea, that's it.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I suspect he will get the full gambit and wind up with a very short career, if a career at all. That's the reality

------

AR......That's the reality of 90% of the players draft eligible each year. Gay, Straight or somewhere in between.

ARdawg
ARdawg

@GeorgeStein @ARdawgThe players are still the testosterone driven 22-35 year old men they have always been. If the players accept it, it doesn't really matter what owners and GMs think IMHO. However, even though there are likely peppered other gay players in the league, it is overwhelmingly heterosexual and I suspect he will get the full gambit and wind up with a very short career, if a career at all. That's the reality

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@ARdawg You're right, it's not a perfect world and the policy of the NFL can't change hearts and minds.   I think, though, that players are of a different generation than their bosses, and young people don't give a flip about who's gay and who isn't.


If GMs or owners care, shame on them.

ARdawg
ARdawg

@GeorgeStein @ARdawgI too, am against discrimination of any kind FTR. However, the realist in me does not think even for an instant that the leagues policy is going to make Sam and is sexual orientation accepted by the majority of NFL players. I can't see a coach or an owner inviting this distraction onto their team. Tis not a perfect world George

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@ARdawg No, because I think discrimination against homosexuals is insane.  Further, it violates the NFL discrimination policy.   All of this argues in favor of his coming out, anyway.

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