5 Reasons Every NFL Team Should Want to Draft Openly-Gay Michael Sam
5 Reasons Michael Sam Should Be Drafted With Confidence
"I am an openly, proud gay man," Michael Sam said. "I understand how big this is. 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."
Sam is a former Missouri football All-American and the most decorated defensive player in the toughest and best college football conference—the SEC.
After Sam’s interviews with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and the New York Times where he revealed he is gay, everyone began to focus on his sexual orientation instead of what is more important, like his character, whether he is better suited for a 4-3 or a 3-4 style of defense, if he is physically strong enough to bull-rush a good NFL left tackle or if he is fast enough to cover slot receivers. Those are the things that matter, not his sexual orientation.
In sports and our society we need to move past a person’s sexual orientation being an issue. Sam being attracted to men should be no more of a story than the fact that I’m attracted to curvy blonde women. No one cares what my type of woman is and it should equally matter (or not matter) that Michael is attracted to men. Will the fact that Sam is gay have any impact on his performance on the field? No. If Sam can play, then he can play, regardless if he goes home to a man or woman at night. .
Hopefully one day there won’t be a need for an article like this one. It’s not that I mind writing it, but I just hope that one day anyone being gay is not newsworthy.
Here are five reasons every NFL team should want to draft Michael Sam.
5. The NFL Has Become A Passing League
I’ve said it many times before; the NFL has become a passing league. What is the best way to play good defense in a passing league? Having good defensive backs, including a shutdown corner, is an excellent place to start. The other component you need is getting pressure on opposing QBs which is the main job of a defensive end. With that being true, why would NFL teams not draft Sam, who is projected as being among the top 20 rush ends available in the draft?
4. He Showed Character By Coming Out Before the Draft
So many coaches say they want players on their team who possess character. Michael deciding to come out before the draft could potentially hurt his draft stock. I hope it doesn’t and it shouldn’t; but it is a real possibility, and there is no way that Michael is unaware of that. Knowing that, Sam still decided to tell the world who he is and that he is comfortable with who he is. Sam wanted NFL teams to know who he is entirely before the draft so they can make their decision based on all of the facts. Shouldn’t NFL teams want men like Sam on their squads? I say they should. When a team experiences some adversity, and they will, wouldn’t it be great to have someone as strong as Michael on your team?
3. He Has Proven He Can Play And His Rookie Contract Will Not Be Costly
Sam was the best defensive end in the SEC, a league that included South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney (who may be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft) and Auburn’s Dee Ford. Sam led the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19). Before his announcement, Sam was projected to go somewhere in rounds 3-6. That should not change now just because everyone now knows he is gay. An NFL team could get tremendous value for Sam if he does indeed get drafted in rounds 3-6.
2. The Media Circus Surrounding Him Coming Out Will Die Down
Sam coming out is the story everyone is talking about today. It will probably continue that way all week and then it will die down. Talk of Sam’s sexual orientation will ramp up again right before the draft and immediately after. You know what will happen after that? It will be about Michael Sam the football player, not Michael Sam the gay man.
1. His Missouri Teammates And Coaches Knew He Was Gay And It Was Not An Issue
If any NFL team is concerned Michael’s sexual orientation will be an issue, they should stop worrying. Sam’s Missouri teammates and coaches have known about his sexual orientation since August, yet that information never got out into the media and was never an issue. I imagine it would be the same once Sam is part of an NFL team.