Relaymedia

NFL Supports Openly Gay Ram's Draft Pick Michael Sam, But Players, Fans Have Other Opinion

( [email protected] ) May 11, 2014 11:34 PM EDT
Openly gay Michael Sam falls to the last round before being picked up by St. Louis.
Michael Sam became the first openly gay person drafted into the NFL. WFAA

As was expected, Michael Sam became the first openly gay football player on a roster in the National Football League (NFL), after the St. Louis Rams made him the 249th overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft over the weekend. The mainstream media has painted the pick as being widely accepted, airing a video of Sam reacting with his boyfriend and others after receiving the call from the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher, but that may not be the whole story..

According to ABC News, Dolphins second-year player Don Jones tweeted "OMG" and "horrible" when television cameras showed Sam kissing his boyfriend after the former Missouri star talked to Fisher.

Jones' tweet was enough to catch the attention of Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey, who is probably still a bit puckered by last years Incognito/Martin fiasco.

"I was made aware of it and I was disappointed in those comments," Hickey said Saturday night. "That's not what we stand for as an organization. The draft weekend is a culmination for so many players, their lifetime achievement of their dream to achieve a goal for Michael Sam and all the other players."

"It's a celebration, " he continued. "I think it's a great thing for the league."

Hickey also said the team plans to talk with Jones and address the tweets.  

Although many of the coaches and other league and team administrators have voiced support for Sam, other players besides Jones have expressed sentiment contrary to that position. Likewise, while most of the reaction on social media appears supportive, some fans on Facebook and Twitter have promised to cancel season ticket orders, and have sworn alligeance to other teams because of the draft choice.

In February, after Sam announced his intention to enter the draft, Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins, and other Redskins who remained unnamed, spoke about potentially having a gay teammate.

"Now, there are a lot of teammates in my locker room right now who may not have a homosexual lifestyle, but they have sins, too. They're not perfect. So I don't say they can't help us win. Nobody's perfect," Cousins said during a question and answer session he gave at a Michigan High School.

Another story from CBS DC that had the players being interviewed anonymously, pointed to  some feeling pressure to toe the line on the Sam story.

"I think some guys would kind of shy away from him a little bit... maybe three or four guys," he said. "But for the most part he'd be accepted."

According to one player, some in the locker room who are disapproving of a gay lifestyle will likely feel pressured to not publicly express their opposition. As such, they may choose to be dishonest when speaking to the media, according to the CBS report.  

Sam was expected by many experts to be picked earlier in the draft, when he announced he would enter after the end of the college season. Unfortunately for Sam, his stock fell after a poor combine performance. And although the league and the Rams appear to be accepting of his openly gay lifestyle, many believe the spectacle that Sam's presence will bring also caused his stock to fall, until St. Louis chose him in the last round.