So about a week or so ago, Michael Sam did an interview with The Dan Patrick Show which gained tons of media attention. In the interview, Sam basically stated that if he had waited a little later to “come out,” he would have probably had a spot in the NFL today.
This has sparked dialogue on social media as to whether or not Sam was correct in saying this, or if he is milking the gay card a bit too much. I asked some of my Instagram followers their thoughts and here’s what they had to say:
canthonybryant No. His being gay gave him a platform that his level of talent could not sustain.
monteyjames91 At this point, he’s better off out of the NFL either way.
25rich52 No I don’t think he would
tayemovie No. And no one talks about him being gay but him. he needs to shut up ,focus, and train if he wants to play football. I he wants to be a spokesperson then he should go ahead and to that.
As you can see, a lot of you guys think that Sam’s statement was BS and him not coming out wouldn’t have made an impact on his chances in the NFL. I’m a bit torn on what I think. I will say Sam’s experience probably hasn’t been too different than hundreds of other athletes who have tried to make a career in the NFL. What people need to understand is that as with any industry, being a professional football player is extremely COMPETITIVE. You can almost compare it to hitting the lottery. There are plenty of great football players who may have had what it takes to be in the NFL, but don’t quite make the cut based on whatever situation that didn’t work out in their favor.
In Sam’s case, he’s a great football player–sure! But when he was drafted into the NFL, the media didn’t choose to focus on how great his stats were in college. They chose to focus on the fact that he’s GAY. Now I’m not saying that this wasn’t important information to highlight because after all, he WAS the FIRST OPENLY-GAY player to be drafted into the NFL. That’s huge! But what NFL team, or NFL BRAND (to put things in a different perspective) wants that type of attention? The sport is called football and that’s primarily what NFL brands want the focus on. They want the media to focus on the players TALENT over anything.
It’s honestly a hard call to make about Sam coming out perhaps a bit too prematurely. I guess we’ll never know the real reason why he isn’t an NFL player today. However, what we DO KNOW is that Sam still has had a positive influence in society and LGBT presence in sports!
Thank you Michael Sam!