(Round Table) Michael Sam was selected in the seventh and final round and admitted it was a frustrating wait. The call finally came from the St. Louis Rams, the team right down the road from where Sam played his college ball at the University of Missouri.
For a quick moment, it looked as if his chance of being picked by a pro team and becoming the league’s first openly gay player was looking real bleak.
“From last season alone, I should’ve been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American,” Sam said. He stopped short of directly saying his stock dropped in the draft because he came out.
“You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know,” he said. “They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like I’m a (Jadeveon) Clowney, a first draft pick. I’m proud of where I am now.”
Sam was in San Diego watching with friends and family at the home of his agent, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes. ESPN and the NFL Network had cameras there and showed Sam’s reaction.
Sam was seen on the phone bending over, with his boyfriend hugging him and rubbing his left bicep. When Sam got off the phone, the tears started. He gave his boyfriend a big kiss and a long hug as he cried.
Who remember when last year, NBA veteran Jason Collins has come out publicly as gay? Now he’s playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Collins said before the Nets’ playoff game against the Heat that he was watching the draft and texted Sam after he was picked.
“It’s a great day for Michael and his family and for the NFL,” Collins said.
Publicly, most people in and related to the NFL have been supportive of Sam. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said Sam would be welcome in the league and judged solely on his ability to play. Some has wondered whether teams wouldn’t draft him because of all the media attention that would come with it.
What a coincidence that after being drafted it’s reported that he already signed up for a reality show, saying it’s strictly about football. Like really????