The first openly gay player in the NFL (maybe)

Michael Sam is a highly-regarded college football player who was expected to be picked early in the NFL draft in April. Last week he announced that he was gay. He has received many supportive messages from teammates and fans but apparently there are fears that his prospects for the draft have dimmed because some teams are worried about the ‘controversy’ involved in having him on their team.

The Daily Show looks at the strange criteria that NFL teams seem to have for deciding what kind of player causes a problem for their image.

(This clip aired on February 10, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. machintelligence says

    Denver has expressed interest. They certainly need some defensive help, and they won’t have a very high first round pick.

  2. jamessweet says

    The problem is that it could effect his draft stock even if none of the teams who are interested in him care at all about his sexuality. Say a team was going to take him in the 3rd round, but now they think they can get him in the 5th round (because of this whole brouhaha) and get a different player they want in the 3rd round. They might still very much want Sam to play for them, but they might pick him lower if they can get away with it, so they can fill other positions as well.

  3. says

    jamessweet (#3) –

    Say a team was going to take him in the 3rd round, but now they think they can get him in the 5th round

    Sound argument, but I doubt it’s going to happen. While there may be an initial dip in the “mock draft”, once the combine is over and a month or two has passed Sam will likely go back to where he was.

    I suspect the owners, GMs, coaches and other old people are going to realize that they are out of touch with the players already in the league. They may finally realize that any “disruption in the lockers room” won’t be Sam’s fault. The fault will be theirs and their outdated “thinking”.

  4. jamessweet says

    left0ver1under, I hope you are right. I could honestly see it going either way. As we know from Kluwe’s Deadspin article, there are at least some clubs where it would create some friction. Which means there are probably at least a few teams for which his draft stock fell immediately. That shouldn’t directly change his overall draft value, but I worry about a cascade effect.

    In any case… all of this handwringing doesn’t matter in the scheme if things. Oh, we can debate the short-term tactical pros and cons of Sam choosing to come out at the time and manner he did; and it may very well have a detrimental impact on Sam’s rookie salary (though let’s hope not). But in the long-term? Hooray!!! He’ll get drafted by some team (or, at worst, picked up for a steal after the draft), it will turn out to be no big deal, and before you know it, more players will come out. That’s a virtual certainty.

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