Mike McCarthy on Michael Sam…called him courageous. About being able to produce. If he does, they’d ‘have room for that guy.’ #Packers
— Justin Felder (@Justin_Felder) February 10, 2014
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy came out and said he would welcome Missouri defensive end Michael Sam if he was able to produce. Sam made news by announcing publicly that he was gay, which immediately raised questions about how teams would handle that kind of situation. McCarthy’s words are notable because he is the first NFL decision maker who has come out in support of Sam.
A number of general managers and NFL executives have commented on the situation anonymously with various takes along the spectrum. Not only is McCarthy supportive, but he is attaching his name to it without fear of any kind of reprisal. Many are quick to assume that NFL locker rooms would have trouble handling the situation, but the more and more this is out there, the more the issue is older decision makers who are uncomfortable themselves or have an extremely conservative viewpoint on the locker room.
Missouri’s football team was perfectly willing to not only be supportive of Sam but stay quiet about the situation, giving Sam the opportunity to own the message himself and not be dragged out or forced into it. Sam has embraced the opportunity to be open and honest about himself and hopefully for his sake, he is liberated and happy for it. While some executives are privately staying on the wrong side of history, players seem to be far more willing to accept it than anyone was willing to give credit.