The Miami Dolphins will not likely be looking for defensive tackles this May when the NFL Draft starts but there are a lot of teams who will be. One name that will be watched closely is Mizou DT Michael Sam who has come out and announced that he is gay. Sam is projected as a 3rd round talent it’s unknown if his announcement will hurt his draft stock. The real question though is why should it?
For starters there are gay members in NFL locker rooms today. They just haven’t come out and told anyone. Sam would represent the first player to do so. A team will draft him for sure and his impact on a teams locker room will be scrutinized by many in the media. On the other hand, he could also spur others to come out as well. Talking with reporters Sam said he wanted to “own who he was”.
Following his announcement, Miami Dolphins CB Brent Grimes took to Twitter to give his thoughts.
@BGrimey21: I’ve never really understood the big deal about knowing someone’s sexual preference. I don’t care.
That will be the consensus among most NFL players although there will also be that handful who will say something stupid. The reality is this kid can play the game and as soon as he starts sacking QB’s more and more will care less and less. In a game filled with machismo and ego having an openly gay player will tarnish that image but instead will likely bring out the homophobic individuals who hold too much ignorance and lack tolerance.
Come May Sam will gain a lot of attention on day two or three of the draft. Come July he will gain a lot of attention from the media as he opens training camp. If he makes the team, come September he will gain attention for what he hopes will be his play on the NFL field.
The NFL may not be ready for openly gay members but it’s really not up to them when exactly they are ready. It’s up to the individual to say they are. Michael Sam was ready.