The NFL Draft is in May and when it arrives, there will be a team that inevitably selects SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam out of Missouri. But while Sam’s credential speak for themselves with scouts, it’s the fact that he’s come out as gay that NFL teams seem to be factoring into his draft sheet.
When Sam came out to the world, there was a debate about how NFL locker rooms would accept Sam but NFL teams aren’t too concerned with locker room reaction. Instead, teams are thinking about the impact that Sam will have on the people that pay to see the game and are more worried about his sexuality alienating their fan base more than their locker room.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians spoke about this matter and noted that he’d be more concerned about what fans are screaming at Sam than what his teammates are.
“None of that matters in the locker room,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “Every locker room I’ve been in, it’s been all about winning. If you had a hand in us winning, and you were different, guys accepted it.
We’re starting to get the notion that Sam’s sexuality won’t be a problem in the locker room, which is a giant step forward. But fans are a different story and drunk fans are an entirely different beast altogether. Sam is blazing a new trail, so it’s impossible to predict what will happen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t watch out for what might.