NFL Expert: League Not Ready for Gay Athlete

Published on 10-Feb-2014 by Stacey Mickles
Football - NFL / NFL Daily Update

Apparently, no cooties have been exchanged at Missouri.

Now that Michael Sam is odds-on to become the NFL's first openly gay player during his career, reaction around the sports world, as you would expect,  is varied.

Some were very supportive of Sam, but you just knew there'd be a smattering of idiotic comments, as well.

Former NFL player Patrick Clayton has said he thought Sam should have stayed in the closet. Maybe it's Clayton who should take his own advice and stay in his own closet with his bigoted comments.

But at least Clayton put his name to his remarks. An NFL personnel assistant -- who preferred to remain anonymous -- said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he didn't the league wasn't even close to being ready for this.

"I don't think football is ready for it just yet. In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It'd chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room."

Huh?

Seriously, folks, a grown man whom we assumed is intelligent made those comments. An assistant NFL coach also thought Sam's decision to announce he is gay was "not a smart move."

Isn't interesting though that none of these anonymous sources didn't feel the need to reveal who they were.

Bet money these cowards wouldn't have the guts to say that to his face.

I'm sure Sam expected this. We still live in a society where bigotry and extremism is alive and well. The NFL is right there, too, as evidenced by the bullying epsiode within the Miami Dolphins's ranks, where the league believes things like this should remain a private matter.

But if I were Roger Goodell, I'd issue a statement saying any player, owner, coach, or other NFL personnel saying anything negative to or about Michael Sam will be fined and subject to dismissal.

It may not stop the harassment, but if the NFL makes it clear they mean business, may be Sam's transition into the league won't be as tough as it sounds like it may be.

In the end, when he's drafted, no one is going to care whether or not he's gay, what will matter is whether he can help their team.

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