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NFLPA prez: Players will accept Michael Sam “with open arms”

NFL Players Association Annual State of the Union Press Conference Getty Images

While employers line up to talk about how accepting they’ll be to openly gay draft prospect Michael Sam, the president of the players union said he doesn’t think it will be a problem in the locker room.

“I know that the union will accept him with open arms, as will our players,” NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth said, via ESPN.

Foxworth acknowledged the Missouri defensive end might encounter some “difficult patches,” he thought players would accept him.

“The team’s gonna build up around their teammate, and it’s going to galvanize the team,” Foxworth said. “Everyone’s talking about how this could disrupt the locker room. Some NFL locker rooms need disrupting, to be frank. Coaches go through a lot of different things to try to build a bond between the team, and what’s going to build a bond more than having a player that all the guys know is kind of a target for opposing fans and maybe a target for opposing players?

“That type of stuff is what makes you build up around a guy, and Missouri seemed to have a pretty good season. So I expect whatever team he goes to is not going to be adversely affected. If anything, they could be positively affected by adding a man like that.”

The fact Sam confided in his Missouri teammates last August, and they had a 12-2 season while he recorded 11.5 sacks speaks to the fact it’s possible. Having the union behind him doesn’t hurt, either.

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15 Responses to “NFLPA prez: Players will accept Michael Sam “with open arms””
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 10, 2014 6:00 PM

    2014 saw a record number of early entry draft applicants, over 100. About 30 of the top players selected for the Senior Bowl did not attend. Among that diluted talent who did attend the event, Michael Sam was MEDIOCRE.

    He would have been a UDFA non entity in NFL terms if he had waited three months or a year to come out.

  2. mezanine10 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:03 PM

    Unions will accept anyone as long as they keep paying union dues!

  3. green41563 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:06 PM

    Players will accept him. It’s the media that will make it a nightmare for teams.

    Here’s how it’ll go down:

    Step One: Incessant training-camp stories about Michael Sam before anyone even puts a jersey on.

    Step Two: Press conferences peppered with questions asking the head coach about having Sam on the team.

    Step Three: Non-stop player interviews in which every other question is about Michael Sam.

    Step Four: An “anonymous” report that some player/coach said something politically incorrect about Sam.

    Step Five: Coaches and players have to answer questions about alleged comment.

    Step Six: NFL announces plan to investigate alleged comment.

    Step Seven: Your team goes 4-12.

  4. txpackfan52 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:08 PM

    I understand this guy coming out is a news story but come on! That’s 17 posts by you guys that relates to this in one day! It’s a little bit overkill imo. Surely some football player got a new dog or cut themselves shaving…anything to break up the endless drumming…

  5. thevikesarebest says: Feb 10, 2014 6:12 PM

    The shehawks wouldn’t because they are the lowest of the low in terms of class.just looking at them makes u disgusted.They will never be a quarter of the franchise that the vikings are.SKOL

  6. wtfchiefs says: Feb 10, 2014 6:12 PM

    If you think he would’ve been an up drafted free agent, you obviously didn’t watch any college football.

  7. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Feb 10, 2014 6:24 PM

    The NFL and NFLPA had better decide what to do with Michael Sam quickly! Pitchers and catchers have to report within the next few days!

  8. qdog112 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:27 PM

    Sam will make it. He will be supported by the union and the league/owners. The backlash of the NFL running him off would be too hard for the league to overcome.

    He will be under protective “custody” of the NFL. It helps that he was an All America and the SEC player of the year. The players have ZERO say on what will happen. Outspoken players against the move will be fined and censored.

    This is a done deal and he will be drafted before the 4th round. Kiper and McShay are wrong again.

  9. upperdecker19 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:33 PM

    Yosemite Sam “back off” truck mud flaps hope to be accepted w/ open arms as well.

  10. xcerebus1 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:39 PM

    We’ve had Heisman winners who tanked in the NFL, but mark my words, short of completely tanking, he’ll never be cut. The fallout would be enormous with players and coaches under a microscope. Who ever drafts him, they’re stuck with him for the duration of his career whether he turns into a superstar or a dud.

  11. seattlesuperchronic says: Feb 10, 2014 6:42 PM

    Every team’s bigwigs are trying to be more tolerant than the next. We’ll see how progressive they are when, or if they draft this dude.

  12. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:57 PM

    Coach Madden put it best … winning is the best deodorant.

    If this guy plays well and his team wins, no one will care about this issue.

  13. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 10, 2014 7:34 PM

    He collected eleven a half sacks at Mizzou. Someone got away in the nick of time.

  14. brooklyn40niner says: Feb 10, 2014 10:29 PM

    But don’t you have to be drafted or signed to a team in order to be a part of the NFLPA?

  15. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 11, 2014 10:39 AM

    I am for Sam I am.
    If Sam can play
    then he should be drafted anyway
    even if he is gay.

    Let him play I say
    let him play today and everyday.

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