Everyone is sharing their opinion of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam coming out ahead of the NFL draft. Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end was on ESPN Radio in Dallas when he was asked if would’ve been uncomfortable playing with a gay teammate.
“I would. I would,” Ellis said, via the Dallas Morning News. “People who’ve never been in an NFL shower room, not just locker room, it’s a open room. We don’t have private curtains. It’s just an open-form shower, so everybody sees each in the nude. Well if you’re looking at men as if you’re looking at women or vice versa, how are those guys to receive that? I don’t know. I don’t know how they will receive that.”
He back tracks slightly to say he’d handle it by going to the coach and trying to work something out.
“But I do know it would be a situation where I would go to the coach and try to work something out to say, ‘Obviously this is going to be a problem. What can we do? The kid can help us play, can help us win football games. We need him on the team. But this situation right here, we need to do something.’ ”
He also gave his advice for Sam entering the league, while expressing concern for what Sam might say or if he pats a teammate on the butt and how that would be received.
“If he can make it through that first initial wave. If he can get out there — he doesn’t need to say anything. He needs go in there, close his mouth and play football to let the guys know that, ‘Hey if you guys give me a chance to welcome me into this fraternity of this football team, I can contribute and help us win football games.’ That’s going to be his best approach in my opinion. Because the little things you have to look at. If he pats somebody on the butt — I hope ESPN don’t get mad and never have me back — but if he pats somebody on the butt, how is that to be received? If he does that how is that to be received? If he said, ‘Come on baby’? I called guys baby all the time on the football field, but when you have taken a stand and went and go public and say that, ‘I am gay,’ how is that going to be received? I’ve seen guys, I had guys on the Dallas Cowboys football team — I won’t mention names — who did not want you to pat them on their butt. So God forbid if you pat one of those guys on the butt it’s going to be a major problem.”
It keeps coming back to the fact that he made it through a season at Missouri with none of these issues. Hopefully the professional players can handle it as elegantly as the college kids did.