As several of you are already aware, University of Missouri’s all American defensive lineman Michael Sam came out as an openly gay man. This possibly makes Sam the first openly gay player in NFL history. While Sam has received general support from teammates and fans, many team scouts and general managers are hesitant to have Sam play because of the “distraction” he may cause in the locker room.
The responses have been mixed, however New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been one of the very few executives to express support for Sam. Kraft is about winning, “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference. If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here.”
The fact that responses are so mixed, and so few NFL executives have expressed support for Sam, shocks me. Several individuals within the NFL find Sam’s sexual orientation to be a “controversial” and “distracting” topic. How is it fair that Sam is receiving any form of backlash for his sexual orientation, yet NFL players have been involved in murder and physical abuse charges, DUI charges and more and it doesn’t hurt their ability to be drafted? It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.
Dale Hansen, the weeknight sports anchor on WFAA-TV and host of Dale Hansen’s Sports Special on Sundays, gave a profound response to the hypocrisy of the NFL:
Hansen makes an amazing point and will hopefully make the NFL rethink the kind of organization it wants to be.