Michael Sam Coverage is Bad for NFL
Michael Sam is a seventh round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams. He is the first openly gay player to be drafted in any of the four major sports in America. The coverage on him has made him one of the most popular draft. The constant media attention has vaulted a player who may or may not make the team into the number two seller in rookie jerseys.
My view on Michael Sam: Inspiring person, mediocre-at-best prospect.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) May 7, 2014
In two days since the draft over 2,638 articles have been written about a player who had an average grade at the combine. The former Missouri player had 11.5 sacks with only 1.5 coming the last six weeks of the season. Sam is benefitting from being brave enough to say he is gay before he even played in the NFL. Of his 11.5 sacks last season, the majority came in three games against subpar opponents Florida, Arkansas State, and Vanderbilt. Articles have been written that the reason that the undersized Sam was drafted in the seventh round was because he is gay, and not his physical limitations.
At the combine he ran a 4.91 40-yard dash, and was only able to bench press the standard weight 17 times. The media attention on him has put him in a position that he has to make the team and produce at a reasonable level. The coverage about his draft day included him kissing his boyfriend, being discriminated against, and Marshall Henderson’s negative tweets. The news outlets have failed to write about the important issue, how can Sam impact the Rams. The Rams have two elite pass rushers at defense end, and a deep linebacking core. Will Sam be able to compete with these proven players on the next level?
By coming out publicly, Sam has put a magnifying glass on the entire NFL. If no team drafted him then the league is full of homophobic old school males that are not open enough to allow a gay man in their locker room. If he gets cut then drafting him was just a publicity stunt that the Rams used to get people interested in the team. If any teammate gets in his face or fights with him at training camp then its gay bashing. And if he makes the team did a more qualified player get cut to make room for Sam. The questions and outcomes are endless. Guess we have a new Hard Knocks team.