Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier today there was a report that Michael Sam, a draft prospect out of the Univeristy of Missouri has come out and stated that he is gay. With this statement, Sam is most likely the first player to be openly gay in the NFL. Is the NFL ready to step into this light?
"“I came to tell the world I’m an openly proud gay man,” he said in an interview with ESPN.“I understand how big this is,” Sam said in the ESPN interview. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”"
With Sam coming out only a couple of months before the draft, will this affect his draft status as to where he is projected and taken. At this point Sam is project to go in the 3rd-4th round and is 11th at his position by CBS Sports. I would hope that this type of announcement should have no repercussions based on where he is taken, but in today’s society, there is a split as to what is accepted and what still needs time. Whether his stock drops, we will wait and see.
Being a 3rd-4th round pick, Sam may just be available for the Bills pick during one or both of those rounds. If Sam is best available on the board, do the Bills look to take a DE. If so, is Buffalo ready for an openly gay player? As Bills fans would you see him differently as a player? Would he be accepted as part of the team and nothing more thought of his past a teammate? These are all questions that each and everyone will have to determine themselves and come to grips with where ever he ends up.
I personally believe that the Buffalo Bills and the city of Buffalo can and will handle this situation with the utmost class, if Sam ends up here. I would hope for Sam’s case that it is the same for every NFL team and city.
To each there own.
"Sam issued his own Tweet: “I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement, especially @espn, @nytimes and @nfl. I am proud to tell my story to the world!”"