UPDATE: Michael Sam gets lifeline, to join Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
(OPINION) — I am tired of people putting labels on everything like Michael Sam as the first openly gay player in the NFL and ESPN reporter Josina Anderson focusing on his shower habits. I care more about what Michael Sam could bring to the field and not about his sexual orientation or his shower habits. Sorry, I don’t care whether he sleeps with a man or a woman. That’s his prerogative.
Tim Tebow’s NFL career was derailed because he wasn’t quiet about his Christian faith and now Michael Sam’s NFL aspirations are disappearing before his eyes. So, whose fault is it? ESPN went all out to show him kissing his boyfriend Vito Cammisano shortly after he got the call that the Rams had drafted him. Second, they didn’t stop there. They went all out with the Josina Anderson interview about his shower habits during training camp, that he waited until the other players shower before he does. Um, did we really need to know all this? ESPN was later forced to apologize for the hit-job on Sam. It’s all a distraction and one big media hype that Michael Sam gave a helping hand.
Some people say he’s a mediocre football player at best, which they said was evident from his being the 249th draft pick. They blamed that on a mediocre showing at the Combine. Some talent evaluators believe he’s too small to play regularly on the defensive line and not athletic enough to play in space as a linebacker, the Huffington Post reports. Still, the St. Louis Rams coach said he did well during his brief stint with the team. Others say he’s being ignored by other teams because of his sexual orientation and that he shouldn’t have come out of the closet. Well, that could be true, but shouldn’t he be free to be himself? Jesse Owens didn’t say, um, well, let me run in whiteface because the world isn’t ready for a black man to break down the color barrier in track and field.
Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood blamed Sam’s fate on ESPN, after 31 other teams passed over him on waivers on Sunday. In response to a question from Ross Tucker about Sam’s lack of practice squad offers, Wood said it was ESPN’s fault, adding, “no-one wants the distraction.” It’s very surprising to me that no other team picked him up for their practice squad. Michael Sam deserves a chance to play, but I am afraid that Eric Wood might be right, no-one wants the distraction and for that he’s paying the price. Sounds to me like Michael Sam is literally being Tebowed out of the NFL before he even got a chance to play in a game. Well, as if it couldn’t get any bleaker for Michael Sam, he didn’t even make the Rams 10-man practice squad. His NFL ambitions are getting dimmer and dimmer.
@RossTuckerNFL blame that on espn. No one wants the distraction
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) August 31, 2014