I wanna talk about something for a second because it kinda pissed me off.
At this point we all know who Michael Sam is. The star defensive end was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. Plot twist: he’s gay. More importantly, he came out as gay prior to the draft, becoming the first openly gay college football player to be considered for the NFL. While in college he was awarded the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, one of the highest honors a player on the defense can win - this is important, remember this. Ever since he was drafted Sam has received a ton of media attention, not all of it positive, and his play has been more scrutinized than any other rookie defense player, possibly any other defensive player in general. Despite sparkling performance on the field, and even the Rams coach saying he is completely fit for the NFL, he was cut from the team in final cuts, and even cut from their practice squad. Fortunately, he was picked up for the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
So why am I pissed? Here’s why.
Michael Sam is the first player to received Defensive Player of the Year and NOT be drafted in the first round. In years. His field performance, while limited to his position (he’s not as versatile as other players) was flawless - an important trait for defensive players to have is the ability to put pressure on the quarterback. Not a lot of defenses can pull this off. But he managed to sack the quarterback three times in four games - this included even veteran quarterbacks. He stood on the field against the New Orleans offense, one of the most frightening offenses in the game, and managed to hold his own, even sacking Luke McCown a couple times.
And yet people are calling this kid mediocre. Saying “who cares about a seventh round pick” (lets ignore that Tom Brady, regarded one of the best quaterbacks in the league, was a sixth round pick). And they keep trying to justify it. Find every excuse to say it isn’t homophobia.
But it is. It is. Homophobia is why he wasn’t drafted round one despite every DPOY being drafted first in years past. Homophobia is the reason people are taking his top ranking preseason stats and going “Well it’s just preseason (notice they don’t do this with Manziel or any other rookie)”. Homophobia is the reason despite being so phenomenally capable that he only got signed by the skin of his teeth to an incredibly desperate team, and this was only AFTER Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asked the majority of the players if they were okay with it. NO OTHER PLAYER gets this type of scrutiny. So why did Sam get it? Because he’s gay. Because unlike every other player, people look at him and think he has to “prove” it. He has to play twice as hard and twice as well, to “prove” it.
And that’s fucking bullshit. To think that if he didn’t come out, we may never have heard his name, but he would’ve been drafted first round and put on the team with no question. People saying “He just wants attention” but don’t realize, he’s risking his career by saying this. I’m not going to pretend he’s perfect. But he’s REALLY GOOD. He deserves to play in the NFL. Any other player with his stats, it wouldn’t even be questioned.
But because he is gay, suddenly every tackle has to be justified. All his stats come with qualifiers. That’s bullshit. People keep saying “Who cares if he’s gay? Just play the game!” Evidently a lot of people fucking care. This kiss happened. Now people care. Your adamant “color blindness” which seems mostly to be “If I pretend it isn’t there maybe it’ll go away” doesn’t change the fact that this kiss sparked lobbyists trying to ban all gay players, many an NFL veterans taking to Twitter to express their disgust, fans all over the country throwing out slurs everywhere on the Internet, and most importantly, endangered the successful career of a kid who has all the potential to be a great player, as testified by the very coaches who cut him anyway.
That said, thank you to the Dallas Cowboys who gave him the chance he rightfully deserves. I’m not a Cowboys fan, but my roommate is, and she’s quite excited about Sam’s prospects, as am I.
- Mod Dawes Sr.
* The rams did him a favor in drafting him at all when you look at the talent on there D Line.
* He has had success against 3s and 4s. Yes he did great in college but please don’t use that when the word BUST goes to a lot more players in the first round over good picks.
* He can mature and progress and if he in fact is the talent you believe he is then he can be that prime time player and become Wares replacement.
* oh and FYI GM’s don’t want players with a camera crew in there camps. Remember that the rams had to make him drop that reality program bullshit he was coming in with.
* Morality of the group is more important then 1 player NO MATTER WHAT