Posted February 11, 2014

NFLPA boss rips anonymous GMs who downgraded Michael Sam

NFL
All-American defensive end Michael Sam had 11 sacks and 45 tackles last season for Missouri. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

All-American defensive end Michael Sam had 10.5 sacks and 45 tackles last year for Missouri. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith ripped anonymous NFL general managers and executives who said former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam damaged his draft stock by announcing he is gay.

In reports by Sports Illustrated and TheMMQB.com, some general managers said they thought Sam’s draft stock would be hurt by his announcement and one general manager said he didn’t think Sam would be drafted at all.

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“When you contrast a group of anonymous GMs against a 24-year-old college player, it seems like only one of them had the guts to put his name behind his message,” Smith said to Comcast SportsNet Washington. “So my first reaction has nothing to do with Michael Sam. My reaction is to call those GMs for what they are — they’re gutless.

“If a young man has the courage to stand up and put his name and his face to talk about what he thinks is important, I would expect that a grown man can do exactly the same thing. But apparently they can’t.”

Sam, the SEC’s co-defensive player of the year last season, currently is projected to be a mid-round pick in May’s NFL draft.

“I’m not Pollyanna about it, certainly, but my hope would be that in the same way that every player is graded by what he can accomplish on the field, that would be exactly the same standard that you’d want to apply to every player.”


5 comments
MavsMan
MavsMan

This is what really irritates me about this whole deal.  Sam knew coming out of the closet before he went into the draft that this would be a made a big deal by the media.  So he makes this announcement before the draft so the media can play it up and now he is in a win-win situation.   If he goes high in the draft, he will be proud and people will say the team that drafts him is embracing him.  And if he falls in the draft, that people overlooked him just because they didn't want a gay man on their team and he and the NFLPA can gripe that the reason he fell in the draft is because he came out.  People rise and fall before the draft all the time because of trades going on behind the scenes that we don't know about until later.  How about just keeping your mouth shut unless someone asks?   When was the last time you heard a player getting ready for the draft come out and say he was straight?  Never, so just play the game.   I am not saying you should go back in the closest, I am just saying there is no need to get the bullhorn out and blast it for everyone to hear.  If you are that great of a player, people will have to respect you whether they agree with your sexual behavior or not. 

6marK6
6marK6

I could care less what this guy does in his own home. HOWEVER, I would not have him on my team. Not because I am homophobic, but because I do not want the media circus that will follow him around forever. And the media attention that will cause riffs everywhere. He is not good enough to warrant the headache. He should have kept his mouth shut, there have been other gay players in the past. 

AF Whigs
AF Whigs

I said it the other day and I'll say it again:  teams overlook past criminal offenses and misdeeds from draft picks off the field every single year, so why do they care if Sam is gay?  He came out to his team before the 2013 season, so obviously the Mizzou locker room could handle it, but somehow pro locker rooms can't?  


What nonsense.

negotiatorcmcr
negotiatorcmcr

Good point. 


I know these GMs expected anonymity to give their viewpoints but if you're going to rip his ability, even if it's an accurate assessment, you should stamp your name next to it. Of course, teams don't want to give away whom they are and aren't interested in drafting but why make a comment like that if you aren't comfortable giving your name for the story?

6marK6
6marK6

@AF Whigs  Mizzou players could handle it because there was not an ESPN reporter in their locker room doing a story about it every minute of the day. You don't get the big picture here, the problem will not be internal, it will be external.