Local NFL Teams React to Michael Sams’ Announcement
The local teams are weighing in on Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s announcment Sunday that he is gay.
Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch expressed support for Sam's decision to come out and said his sexual orientation should not be a factor in whether he is selected by the Giants or any other team in this year's NFL draft.
"Our sport, our game, is the ultimate meritocracy," Mara, the team's president and chief executive officer, said Monday. "You earn your way with your ability. Regardless of who you are, what your background is, and what your personal or sexual orientation is, if you can play, you can play."
Mara added that Sam's "announcement will not affect his position on our draft board."
Tisch echoed Mara's comments."Michael Sam is a gifted athlete and a courageous man," he said. "I hope any NFL team would not hesitate to draft Michael if he is right for their team. Our game is the ultimate team game, and we often talk about how a team is a family. Regardless of where you are from, what your religious beliefs are, what your sexual orientation is, if you are good enough to be on the team, you are part of the family." Through a spokesman, the Jets declined to comment but defensive end Sheldon Richardson weighed in. Sheldon Richardson knew Michael Sam was gay. And it never mattered to him.
He's just proud his former roommate at the University of Missouri had the courage to come out publicly and reveal his sexuality.
"I lived with Michael Sam," Richardson said during an interview Tuesday with New York's SNY cable network. "Regular guy, has his own sexuality. Didn't take nothing from him. He was a great teammate, a great person. Everything you wanted out of him, you got out of him. "You wanted a football player. You got the football player.
Giants corner Terrell Thomas doesn’t think the NFL is ready for Sam telling the New York Post among other things “I think the biggest thing is going to be in the locker room. Not on the football field, not on the practice field, but in the locker room where guys are walking around naked, guys are joking, the way coaches talk, the way players talk, you have to be careful what you say because you don’t want to offend anybody."
Asked by Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer if Sam’s public homosexuality would change their willingness or unwillingness to draft Sam, an Eagles spokesman replied: “Why would it change anything?”
Eagles players Connor Barwin tweeted
“Happy for Michael Sam, much respect and best of luck in the draft.”
With Brandon Boykin chiming in “Nobody is making this Michael Sam deal any bigger than it's supposed to be except ESPN. Let the man live and let me watch b-ball highlights”
Acceptance has come along way since Desean Jackson took to the radio in 2011
Jackson, appearing on a hip-hop radio show late last month, used a multi-word gay slur in response to a berating caller.
Jackson took calls on Sirius XM's "All Out Show with Rude Jude and Lord Sear" on June 30, replying in passing to a derogatory question about Jackson's toughness. Jackson responded, "What kind of question is that?" followed by the gay slurs.
Jackson later issued a statement saying he meant no harm and also apologized.
For Sam, it could be a financial windfall as his agent says his phone hasn’t stopped ringing some from fortune 500 companies.
What’s your take on Michael Sam coming out? Would you like to see him play on your favorite team?