The 2013 SEC defensive player of the year, Michael Sam, is in a position to become the first openly gay professional football player. But first he needs to get drafted. Josh Alper of NBC Sports reports that Sam’s chances of getting drafted may have diminished:
Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans of SI.com spoke to eight NFL executives and coaches, none willing to put his or her name to their opinion of a man revealing part of his identity, on Sunday to find out how Sam’s choice to take that on will affect his position in the draft.
Because Sam had come out to his teammates already, one person Thamel and Evans spoke to said that 90 percent of teams already knew and had dropped Sam on their draft boards as a result. Others said that the NFL would be ready for an openly gay player “in the coming decade or two” and that being openly gay would “break a tie” with another player going before Sam. An NFL assistant said Sam’s move was not a smart one.
If Alper’s analysis is correct, there could be something of a parallel to the Tim Tebow situation. Fair or unfair, perhaps football teams are averse to having media attention from anything other than the sport itself.
HT: Denny Burk