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DeMaurice Smith calls anonymous General Managers who criticize Michael Sam “gutless”

Smith Getty Images

On the heels of Michael Sam’s decision to come out as gay, at least one unnamed General Manager boldly predicted Sam would be undrafted.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith had an even stronger assessment for any General Managers who say things about Sam without attaching their names to it.

“[W]hen you contrast a group of anonymous G.M.’s against a 24-year-old college player, it seems like only one of them had the guts to put his name behind his message,” Smith told CSN Washington.  “So my first reaction has nothing to do with Michael Sam.  My reaction is to call those G.M.’s for what they are:  They’re gutless.  And if a young man has the courage to stand up and put his name and his face to talk about what he thinks is important, I would expect that a grown man can do exactly the same thing.  But apparently they can’t.”

Smith expressed optimism regarding the manner in which Sam will be received by other members of the union, once he’s on a team.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect and expectation for our young man and some of our not-so-young men in our locker rooms,” Smith said.  “We believe that the locker room, as much of a locker room as it is, it’s a workplace.  And I think the expectation for all of our young men is to treat every person in their workplace with respect.”

If there are any problems, the NFLPA will be ready to act.

“With both feet,” Smith said.  “This isn’t a union that has had a tough time stepping in with two feet to protect the interests of its players.  If there ever came a time where we believe that there was a need for us to do something for this player or any player similarly situated, I’m sure the league wouldn’t be surprised to see a letter from me coming across their desk.”

The situation could get dicey if Sam is facing harassment from another member of the union.  In those situations, both men are entitled to protection and representation by the NFLPA.

It’s the same problem the union faced in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation.  Frankly, it’s the same problem any union faces when one member of the union is accused of breaking workplace rules when interacting with another member of the union.

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76 Responses to “DeMaurice Smith calls anonymous General Managers who criticize Michael Sam “gutless””
  1. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 10, 2014 8:09 PM

    And so it begins. Get ready for it folks. All season long…

  2. green41563 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:11 PM

    The PC people have created a society in which anyone with a different opinion is held up to public ridicule, fired, humiliated, etc.

    So why should we expect anyone to come forward with an honest opinion?

  3. kazkal says: Feb 10, 2014 8:12 PM

    It’s True I Don’t like DeMaurice much but he’s right this time.

  4. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 10, 2014 8:13 PM

    Another politically correct pawn who himself is gutless.

  5. kyblue33 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:21 PM

    Smith knows a lot about being gutless—so I hold his opinion High!

  6. psmith7716 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:21 PM

    Funny how Mr. Smith does not hesitate to site unnamed sources when it suits his need, but now…

  7. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 10, 2014 8:24 PM

    green41563 says:
    Feb 10, 2014 8:11 PM
    The PC people have created a society in which anyone with a different opinion is held up to public ridicule, fired, humiliated, etc.

    So why should we expect anyone to come forward with an honest opinion?
    ———————————————–

    Exactly.

  8. rbell2123 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:25 PM

    Nothing personal to Michael Sam I am sure he is great kid and I hope he does well, But I am already tired of hearing about him.

  9. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 10, 2014 8:27 PM

    Here we have the NFL that tells people they must talk to the media or be fined if they don’t, must do this, must do that, must accept ‘lifestyles’ must apologize if not PC in one of their statements.

    They are acting like an extension of our corrupt immoral government. No freedom of speech, no rights.

  10. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 10, 2014 8:27 PM

    What if the unnamed GM is right and he goes undrafted? Not like he said he shouldn’t be drafted.

    Perhaps the GM remains anonymous to avoid the knee jerk reaction from the liberal sports media who are convinced the NFL will hold it against him.

  11. tecmobowl34 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:28 PM

    Any team who drafts this guy should be kicked out of the NFL

  12. praetorian12 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:31 PM

    It’s been less than a day, and i’m already sick of the Michael Sam story. It’s no big deal. Let’s move on.

  13. FinFan68 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:35 PM

    I would guess that the number of GMs that wouldn’t draft him simply because he is guy would be fairly small if not zero. The number of GMs that won’t Draft him because of all the hoopla involved would be significantly higher.

    Unfortunately for him, I think this kid just placed himself in a similar situation as Tebow. He is not out of the league because of a lack of ability; he hasn’t been signed because of the drama that would surely follow.

  14. robrocker1959 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:38 PM

    Sam should change his position to either a Wide Receiver or Split End. He might get a rise in the draft

  15. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 10, 2014 8:39 PM

    Of course De Smith has to support this. If he was a man and didn’t he’d lose his job and millions of dollars. In other words he’s gutless.

  16. rbell2123 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:39 PM

    What ever team drafts him I wonder if there punter will be afraid to drop the soap in the shower?

  17. jeffr85392 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:39 PM

    Darn right, DeMaurice.

  18. mariorat says: Feb 10, 2014 8:40 PM

    We don’t have Jeff Ireland to kick around anymore…

  19. elmustardo says: Feb 10, 2014 8:40 PM

    10-1 odds it was Dennis Hickey.

  20. zor9999 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:41 PM

    Why not do this after that first big contract, when he has real leverage? Unless he was going to be outed and wanted to release the info himself.

  21. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Feb 10, 2014 8:41 PM

    MR DeMaurice have you ever been gutless in your life when this topic was in your face ?

  22. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 10, 2014 8:43 PM

    It is no surprise that Colbert would say this. For one, he is a top-notch talent evaluator, and secondly, the Steelers have been very open about their anti-gay policy. There is no place for it here. Leave the spectacle to a team like the Ravens or Bengals.

  23. ejmstr says: Feb 10, 2014 8:49 PM

    He will be drafted but not as high as would have been. This reminds me of an old story of Jersey Joe Walcott. standing in his corner, waiting for the stat of the fight, he noticed the other boxer repeatedly making the sign of the cross. JJ turned to his manager/trainer and said does that help. The trainers reply was only if you hit hard.
    If this kid can play, all will be forgotten.

  24. omniscient48 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:49 PM

    Has Hell frozen over? Are pigs flying? I cannot believe I am saying this, but for the first time in history I actually agree with DeMaurice Smith. The GMs are gutless on this one.

    Also, I watched the interview with Sam. He was a very articulate and impressive young man.

  25. 12brichandfamous says: Feb 10, 2014 8:50 PM

    well done Mr. Smith.

    Here’s hoping the kid plays well and earns a job.

  26. skell01 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:52 PM

    And the more people do this crap, the less teams will want to have ANYTHING to do with him. He is out, now everyone needs to shut up and let him show what he can do. Teams have NO desire to draft the next “social project”. If teams think discussion about his sexuality will suck the life out of a team over the season, they won’t touch him, and that is not fair to the kid.

  27. tbone8801 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:54 PM

    Somewhere Manti Te’o and Richie Incognito are smiling.

  28. sparky151 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:57 PM

    There actually are a number of legal issues that need to be sorted out. Modern sexual harassment law would protect both Sam and his coworkers. If a woman were expected to dress and share showers with straight male coworkers, it would be an easy case to claim a hostile work environment.

    Sam has the right to live his life and shouldn’t be expected to make a pledge of chastity. On the other hand being gay means being attracted to other men. It’s hard to believe he’s never found a team mate attractive. What happens when they’re showering if Sam gets a boner? Does that make him a harasser? Will he be expected to shower separately and privately?

    The various media and political figures weighing in don’t have to live in close quarters with him so they are free to espouse the PC line. If a team mate feels Sam has a thing for him, what should he do? Confront Sam? Suffer in silence (maybe he’s wrong and Sam’s not interested at all)? Use the legal process (the default HR recommendation but anyone who uses it vs Sam will be vilified in public)?

  29. ematusko says: Feb 10, 2014 9:00 PM

    I’m not looking forward to the whole circus that’s coming from this, but I’m all for Sam and hope he has a great deal of success. My guess is that the GM didn’t want to be publicly assassinated for stating an opinion, and not even one that was degrading towards Sam’s lifestyle.

  30. jikkle49 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:03 PM

    Where did this anonymous General Manager criticize Sam?

    All the GM said was he thinks he going to be undrafted which is a very real possibility.

    He didn’t say the kid should go undrafted or say he shouldn’t have come out he just made the observation that teams will steer clear of him to avoid the controversy.

    Also what GM is prior to the draft is going to tip his hand and say what players he doesn’t intend to draft?

  31. qdog112 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:04 PM

    Anonymous GMs who make such statements are just like tough guys who hide behind their keyboards.

    They hate women commentators, black QBs and any signal that Archie Bunker is dead. The funny thing is, most of them never played a down of football without a controller in their hands.

    Oh, did I forget Richard Sherman, can’t forget Richard Sherman? PC is code for people who wanna hate, but are afraid to do it openly.

  32. starchybunker says: Feb 10, 2014 9:06 PM

    “With both feet,” Smith said.

    He now has Rex Ryan’s undivided attention…

  33. GenXJay says: Feb 10, 2014 9:07 PM

    Ted Thompson. but, mot because the kid is gay. it’s because TT likes defensive players without knuckles.

  34. geniusesq says: Feb 10, 2014 9:08 PM

    Everybody ran their mouth about Manti Teo last year, turned out to be a non-issue. This will too.

    The media will beat this dead horse of a story as long as they can, but at the end of the day, nobody will care in the locker room once training camp is over.

  35. r81ders says: Feb 10, 2014 9:08 PM

    A nobody trying make a name for his self just like teo who cares if u like having roster party’s in the back door of the bar….All that matters is have respect and don’t shower with the guys that’s all.

  36. croghan1919 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:12 PM

    As of this report, 7 of the last 11 are about Michael Sam.
    This is NOT going to go away.
    SMH

  37. mutohasaposse says: Feb 10, 2014 9:14 PM

    There are likely several hundred kids out there thinking that they will be drafted somewhere between rounds 3-7. If a Gm was asked about half of them they’d say they’d go undrafted.

    The unknown GM can’t put his name to that statement because he’d be ridden out of the league even if his team doesn’t need a DE.

  38. abninf says: Feb 10, 2014 9:16 PM

    DeMaurice needs to come out of the closet. He obviously has some sugar in his tank.

  39. dartwick says: Feb 10, 2014 9:17 PM

    Ummm – I didnt see GMs criticizing Sam.

    Smith is being a grandstanding liar it appears.

  40. dfco74 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:17 PM

    If his draft position falls it’s not because he is gay its because teams are not going to want to deal with the circus that will accompany SAM

  41. scmems07 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:18 PM

    It’s comforting to know that in America your allowed to have your opinions…..as long as it’s in line with what everyone else wants.

  42. ohioraider22 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:22 PM

    anonymous = reporter needed something to write about to pay the bills.
    What team is going to want this circus? Why come out now? How does this help him?

  43. raideralex99 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:25 PM

    If he is drafted early …. Every player in next years draft will announce they are gay.
    Seriously … all this hype for his sexual preference instead of his football skills.

  44. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Feb 10, 2014 9:29 PM

    It was a sweet move by him he will have millions in the bank even if he never plays a down in the bigs !

  45. shatho1 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:31 PM

    this situation doesn’t matter in the military why should it matter in the NFL. how about a don’t ask don’t tell policy and this wouldn’t even make headlines. it is what it is so let’s just move on

  46. PriorKnowledge says: Feb 10, 2014 9:33 PM

    When a GM says he may go undrafted, it also means that the gutless GM will not draft him. If he is a 3rd to 5th in talent, then the gutless GM is a fool.

  47. steeltuff says: Feb 10, 2014 9:33 PM

    Vladimir Putin says he isn’t going to draft him either.

  48. nomoreseasontix says: Feb 10, 2014 9:37 PM

    DeMo is just bitter because he was so thoroughly outsmarted by the owners in negotiating the current CBA.

  49. bobbyhoying says: Feb 10, 2014 9:42 PM

    So when the next guy like Tebow says he believes the Bible, in it’s entirety, is the inspired word of God our Creator, all you reporters will write how brave he is to take that stand, and Jeff Lurie will publically praise him, right?

  50. buckybadger says: Feb 10, 2014 9:43 PM

    The problems won’t come from within the locker room. It is the fans and reaction from the public that are always the problem. His teammates this year didn’t seem to mind.

  51. thejackalofnight1 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:44 PM

    What he does in the privacy of his own home is his business, however if a G.M. thinks he MIGHT go undrafted, why call him gutless, if he’s wrong and Sam is drafted in the later rounds, then everyone who said this was going to be a non issue was right.
    Now if he goes undrafted, all this league wide “we don’t care if he is or isn’t” is a load of crap, that sounds good, but isn’t how most players, coaches or G.M. feel about the issue.
    Let’s see if teams want all this press if they draft him.
    The real issue, how good, bad or average will he, along with all other prospects will be in the NFL.

  52. firethorn1001 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:46 PM

    This is always the time of the year for anonymous comments. From free agency, coaching moves, draft picks, draft trades.

  53. gborange says: Feb 10, 2014 10:03 PM

    Let the fight begin…… Professional football is a rough violent sport played by tough chest pounding MEN! Most men would not feel comfortable being naked and playing a contact sport with a gay man. I have no problem with his choice to be gay, but I certainly would not want to shower with him either. That should be my right just like it’s his right to be gay if he so chooses!

  54. orangecrush823 says: Feb 10, 2014 10:08 PM

    I just wanted to come out publicly and tell everyone that I like women… Anybody care?

  55. daysend564 says: Feb 10, 2014 10:20 PM

    Hey Demaurice, how much do you figure to fight when the NFL demands mandatory HIV testing?

  56. eatitfanboy says: Feb 10, 2014 10:24 PM

    The quote about Sam not being drafted came from Peter King’s MMQB.

    In the very first paragraph of the story, PK stated that HE chose to make ALL statements from GMs anonymous because he felt he would get better answers that way.

    So to summarize for all of you knee jerk reactionaries, the reason the GM who said Sam would not be drafted was sourced anonymously was because the WRITER of the article decided to keep ALL sources anonymous.

    But I’m sure you all knew that because none of you would ever rush to judgement without knowing all of the facts.

  57. brooklyn40niner says: Feb 10, 2014 10:25 PM

    I honestly wouldn’t draft him if I were a GM. I don’t like the circus.

  58. rcali says: Feb 10, 2014 10:27 PM

    Relax D, just somebodies opinion. I wonder how many gay jokes D Smith has either told or laughed at in his life. I’m guessing plenty so that makes him a hypocrite.

  59. krisclewey says: Feb 10, 2014 10:30 PM

    Only one team will be fortunate enough to draft Michael Sam. The rest are irredeemable haters.

  60. craniator says: Feb 10, 2014 10:32 PM

    The number of “thumbs down” ratings received by comments to this article which were in all, actuality , dead right is very telling as to why our society is in the shape it’s in today.

  61. backdapack4evr says: Feb 10, 2014 10:33 PM

    It’s gotta be the Vikings or cowboys that fit the description!!

  62. rubenxx7 says: Feb 10, 2014 10:38 PM

    just cuz they are telling the truth. this guy will not pan out for all this attention he will now receive.
    he at best is a positional player

  63. hereloaded says: Feb 11, 2014 12:53 AM

    Lol now some of you make an excuse and say its OK for a GM to say what he said anonymously … Why? You’d think someone with that type of position would be comfortable with his opinion but it seems there’s one person more comfortable about their position and that Michael Sam.

    Its deemed gutless because he didn’t stand behind his statement and reveal who he was… Opinions shouldn’t be supressed but the anonymous GM isn’t helping that cause.

  64. pixelito says: Feb 11, 2014 7:59 AM

    All of this will be completely forgotten by opening day.

  65. 10kmp says: Feb 11, 2014 8:01 AM

    I wouldn’t draft him just like I wouldn’t sign Tim Tebow. They’re both enormous distractions with pedestrian talent. The risk is not worth the reward. It’s that simple. If either of these players was a top talent then I, like everyone else, would look past the circus… but they aren’t so I wouldn’t.

  66. easyeddie says: Feb 11, 2014 8:24 AM

    Another circus. Consucssion lawsuits, then Redskins name fiasco now this.

  67. ajev3rywhere says: Feb 11, 2014 8:26 AM

    These GMs are gutless not because they have these opinions but rather because they won’t put their faces to their opinions.

  68. timbuttrum says: Feb 11, 2014 8:37 AM

    Why the need to make any proclamations about your sexual orientation anyway? If your gay, be gay. No need for press conferences/releases. Why Sam would bring the spotlight onto himself like this two weeks prior to the combine is ridiculous. Makes me think he wants that spotlight on himself. Rather pathetic.

  69. whentheleveonbreaks says: Feb 11, 2014 8:43 AM

    Hat’s off to truth-telling gutless nameless GMs.
    The reality is that most of GMs fit the description and the rest are lying….

  70. xxsweepthelegxx says: Feb 11, 2014 9:17 AM

    I understand people comparing his size to other “non-prototypical” pass rushers. But in naming guys like CWake, Mathis, Freeney ,etc…your ignoring the hundreds, literally hundreds of non-prototypical guys that didn’t make it.

    The odds arent in his favor to be a star….doesn’t mean it wont happen though. He’s already shown something mentally that no one has before him (in the NFL) so it’s definitely something he can build off.

    Good luck Michael

  71. shlort says: Feb 11, 2014 10:21 AM

    People who are afraid to speak their mind because of the retribution that may come of it are gutless.

    I think it takes plenty of guts in todays liberalized era to have a point of view that is unpopular with those who want to tell everyone how to feel, what to eat, what to say, what to wear and etc.

    I find it odd that when people are against something liberal, they are hammered by liberals. Nothing like preaching tolerance, then being the most intolerant group of all.

  72. duece5 says: Feb 11, 2014 10:45 AM

    GM’s are less concerned that he is gay.

    They are more concerned about the CIRCUS for the year.

    They will ask themselves: Is it worth it?

    The media will be beyond a circus……media outlets other than football…..the TMZs, the entertainment media outlets……..

    So, no, I don’t blame a GM, as their job is to provide stability as well.

    It is interesting, that regarding his mock draft had Sam as a middle round guy….3rd round to 5th round.

    I actually heard other sports shows saying yesterday that if he wasn’t taken by the 2nd round, then something would be amiss!!!!

    What a joke!

    If he goes in round 3, then, he would be taken kinda high.

    Life in the liberal media age stinks…..but hey, life will go on!

  73. thraiderskin says: Feb 11, 2014 10:46 AM

    Yeah… because in today’s society, your opinion is protected. Smith is such a tool, all he is trying to so is get his name out there as a great crusader, he could care less about this kid. Any GM who was publicly worried about drafting this kid into HIS locker room would immediately be fired.

  74. nflpoker says: Feb 11, 2014 10:57 AM

    Whoa!!! I actually agree with Smith.

    In this case, Gutless GM = anonymous source.

    Hopefully, he gets drafted, plays at least one snap and plants one of those “great” QBs into the ground. Being gay will be forgotten then.

    Also,this could be part of the usual pre-draft stuff that happens every year. This time it is about a guy who is gay, that’s all.

  75. xcerebus1 says: Feb 11, 2014 11:27 AM

    Am I missing something here? This guy hasn’t even picked up a football at an NFL practice yet and already the excuses and consequences are being laid out for failure? Wow…a GM criticized an upcoming draft pick ANONYMOUSLY….gee, never heard of that before. Let’s burn his house down! Give it a friggin rest. Being gay doesn’t guarantee you a spot on a football team, being good does.

  76. sjbrown8 says: Feb 11, 2014 4:05 PM

    This was a smart move by Sam. By coming out before the draft, he weeds out any team that would present a less than ideal situation.

    Sure, there will be some teams that don’t draft him because he’s gay and/or because of potential media attention. But if the guy wants to live out, it’s best to make sure he doesn’t end up on those teams.

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