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Packers, Eagles, say they have no problem with Michael Sam

Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers AP

The early rush of opinions on out-of-the-closet Missouri defensive end Michael Sam was largely negative, with unnamed scouts downplaying his ability and accentuating the possible negatives.

But now that people with names are beginning to talk, the opinions are getting more positive.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked about the possibility of bringing Sam there, and he had nothing but praise.

“I think you definitely have to feel he’s a courageous young man but my understanding is he’s a talented young player,” McCarthy said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “We always from Day 1 talked about our program, about our culture. Ted [General Manager Ted Thompson] is going through draft process right now and at the end of the day, it comes down to good football players.

“Any player who can come here and be a good teammate and follow the rules of our program, which is one be respectful and produce on the football field, we have room for that guy.”

Likewise, the Eagles shot down any notion that adding Sam would be a negative influence.

Asked by Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer if Sam’s public homosexuality would change their willingness or unwillingness to draft Sam, an Eagles spokesman replied: “Why would it change anything?”

Those replies are encouraging, but until someone drafts him, it will be impossible to know how far-reaching the prejudice is, or whether anyone is willing to back up their belief in equality with actions.

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49 Responses to “Packers, Eagles, say they have no problem with Michael Sam”
  1. hanifmiller says: Feb 10, 2014 2:09 PM

    “Those replies are encouraging, but until someone drafts him, it will be impossible to know how far-reaching the prejudice is, or whether anyone is willing to back up their belief in equality with actions”

    Or teams may not draft him to stay away from the inevitable media frenzy.

  2. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 10, 2014 2:18 PM

    We’re going to hear the same thing from every team, but this is what they’re going to say for public consumption. You always evaluate not just talent but potential distractions with every player you’re considering drafting. You can’t deny that this is going to be a huge distraction for anyone drafting him, so it’s a consideration and it will probably push him down the board.

  3. shaggytoodle says: Feb 10, 2014 2:18 PM

    Why would they?

    He is a football player, so they will judge him on what he does on a football field.

    If he was a Chef, they would judge him by how well he cooks.

  4. azarkhan says: Feb 10, 2014 2:22 PM

    Color me stunned.

  5. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 10, 2014 2:23 PM

    You think any team is going to say, “yeah, we have a problem”?

  6. jbaxt says: Feb 10, 2014 2:23 PM

    And neither does any of the 30 other teams, until draft day. But the NFL takes gay money just as easily as straight so they’ll all come off as all accepting.

  7. harrisryguy says: Feb 10, 2014 2:24 PM

    I personally wouldn’t draft this guy. I dont care about him being gay, but every single person involved with the team is just going to get bombarded with BS questions.

    Can you imagine Bellicheck having to answer questions about him?

    “So Bill, how is Sam getting along in the locker room?” Ugh, Im already annoyed.

    This will be a distraction, GM’s know it and I think it will push his stock down.

    The irony is that all these sport writers who want to follow this story are going to be the ones (again in my opinion) that push his draft stock down.

  8. gjdodger2 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    It’s kind of a Catch-22. People are saying the teams with solid management would not be concerned about Sam’s sexual orientation being known. But teams that are not as well run are the ones that would be most likely to sign him as a publicity stunt.

  9. paulz624 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    Are you people serious? What did you expect them to say? Come on, were living in the PC world, you say anything negative about this and your done, sad but true, I’ll bet anything neither of those teams take him.

  10. GBwomenrhot says: Feb 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    The prejudice will be similar to what it is in our Society…there will be great acceptance, and there will be people that still live in the 1957.

  11. honkeyt says: Feb 10, 2014 2:28 PM

    I got $5000 that says every team will say that.

  12. seabreezes51 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:32 PM

    The media circus turned Tebow into someone no one would touch. Of course Tebow added to the problem, but the sideshow was the big problem.

  13. realdealsteel says: Feb 10, 2014 2:35 PM

    Teams can say what they want but watch neither team touch him. Pardon the pun.

  14. losntina69 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:36 PM

    i wonder if this is how Jackie Robinson felt when he started playing baseball mmmm. As much as thing need to change the more it stays the same.

  15. timdixie59 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:38 PM

    Who cares. This coming out thing is getting old. Just do your job and shut up. Who cares. Geez.

  16. eaglesnoles05 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:48 PM

    Can you even IMAGINE a team saying “Well, obviously we aren’t gonna draft him, because he is Gay.”????

  17. eaglesnoles05 says: Feb 10, 2014 2:54 PM

    This will help other guys come out if they want to though, because they wont have to be the first.

  18. freeigwebuike says: Feb 10, 2014 2:55 PM

    I don’t think it will be much of a distraction. Look at Manti T’eo – everybody said that would be a huge distraction and you hardly ever heard a word about him once he got to camp. Sam is doing the right thing by getting all of this out now. By the time training camp rolls around it will be old news.

  19. backdapack4evr says: Feb 10, 2014 2:58 PM

    Packers- best franchise in football!

    Period…

  20. Youknowimright says: Feb 10, 2014 2:59 PM

    He will not play for the eagle’s or the packers. The only team that can handle the media buzz is the patriots. This guy will be a belicheck selection and a monster for years to come. He just wants football players. He doesn’t care about all of that other stuff. And the rest of the team will fall in line. There will be no problems. Anywhere else it will be a fiasco.

  21. ochospantalones says: Feb 10, 2014 3:11 PM

    As frustrating an owner as Jeffrey Lurie can be, he does seem to be genuinely progressive on these sorts of issues. So I imagine he’d be happy to have the Eagles be leaders here. That said, it’s Chip Kelly’s draft, and while I doubt he has any issue with taking a gay player (if he can incorporate Riley Cooper into the locker room, he can incorporate Michael Sam no problem) he is pretty obsessive about size on defense. Hard to see Kelly drafting Sam in the early rounds.

  22. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 10, 2014 3:19 PM

    The last place Vikings are very tolerant……..

    …….of losing.

  23. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Feb 10, 2014 3:24 PM

    The Green Bay Packers have one goal each season — to win the Super Bowl. If you can contribute to that goal, welcome aboard. I know there are other teams with less focus that concern themselves with what players do in their free time, but those teams aren’t located in Green Bay.

  24. bowdowntopeyton says: Feb 10, 2014 3:41 PM

    We’ll see come draft day.

    Sounds like dude was probably a third or fourth rounder.

    If he slips to the fifth-sixth-seventh round we will see that teams do indeed have a problem with the circus this guy will bring to town.

  25. soulmancer says: Feb 10, 2014 3:48 PM

    Players/teams want to know one thing about Michael Sam: Can he help the team win games. Those who don’t follow that approach when analyzing players aren’t likely to last long in the NFL.

  26. jimthebuilder27 says: Feb 10, 2014 3:52 PM

    The Packers would have no problem having a gay player on their team, they are a class organization.

    The Vikings, on the other hand, cut their punter because he voiced support for gay marriage. They wouldn’t accept gays on their team.

    It’s only the offseason, an the Packers already have a victory over the Vikes!

  27. tmatic74 says: Feb 10, 2014 3:53 PM

    Why is this a story? Why make sexuality announcements when it’s nobody’s business. Where is this big attack on the gay community where people need to come out and stand up for them? There are 1000 reasons people may not like you but to blame everything on being gay is lame. Everyday there is a gay story forced on us by the media. What’s really going on? Who is really behind this agenda and why?

  28. pftfan says: Feb 10, 2014 4:04 PM

    These comments about private/public comments remind me of those people in 2008 who kept saying Obama’s high poll numbers were only the result of people not wanting to say they wouldn’t vote for the first minority President, but when people got in the ballot box, they would never bring themselves to do it.

    Turns out they were wrong about that, and they will be wrong about this too.

    If Manti Teo, of all people, can get drafted, then so can Michael Sam.

  29. sasakisbucket says: Feb 10, 2014 4:09 PM

    If a player is involved in a murder case where sometimes there even implicated of a crime they get a pass, in fact, Leonard Little became a staple of the early 2000s Rams teams but if you’re gay? DISTRACTION! What a farce, grow up, every other field of work welcomes openly gay employees, time to act like adults.

  30. myworldurjuslivinit says: Feb 10, 2014 4:18 PM

    yep, they interviewed every player on each of these teams and the majority said ‘no problem’…pants on fire.

  31. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Feb 10, 2014 4:20 PM

    So does this mean Kerry Rhodes will get some workouts for a job this season?

    Draft day should be interesting….

  32. thestatsishere says: Feb 10, 2014 4:30 PM

    I just hope that wherever the guy gets drafted, there isn’t this giant LGBT rally protesting because he wasn’t drafted higher. The scouting reports are definitely saying he’s not a first-round draft pick, so unless he’s not drafted, I’d say he’ll go in round 4-6 because he’s not a starter. His size doesn’t back him up

  33. chaseutley says: Feb 10, 2014 4:31 PM

    After riding out the storm with a convicted dog killer for the last five years, I doubt the Eagles’ front office would gasp at the thought of drafting a gay guy.

  34. janvanflac says: Feb 10, 2014 4:31 PM

    I believe that’s genuine but the Eagles won’t draft him simply because they run a 3-4 defense and already have 2 converted 4-3 DE’s (Brandon Graham and Trent Cole) on the roster.

  35. oldstylelover says: Feb 10, 2014 5:43 PM

    His jersey will sell well. Any team will be smart to take him if he fits the team’s draft needs.

  36. ojdiddoit says: Feb 10, 2014 5:45 PM

    He is looking for more than his talent alone will get him,which is why he made this earth shattering revelation,that by the way all his team mates and coach at Missouri already knew,before the combine,before the draft..why not wait until your position and future is secure as a projected 3rd or 4th rounder

  37. dahmergeinteam says: Feb 10, 2014 6:34 PM

    My Packers have already crossed this bridge, that’s why the picture. I enjoy men myself.

  38. granadafan says: Feb 10, 2014 6:37 PM

    Actions speak louder than words. If no team drafts him, then clearly there is a problem

  39. packergalmke says: Feb 10, 2014 6:44 PM

    There was a closeted gay player on the Packers during the time of Lombardi. Vince knew of the player and offered support. Why? Lombardi’s brother was gay. I think the Packers would be a fine home for Michael Sam. We certainly need his help on defense!

  40. icdogg says: Feb 10, 2014 7:31 PM

    He’s an undersized 4-3 defensive end who doesn’t have good coverage skills required of a 3-4 outside linebacker. So there are a lot of teams where he just does not fit, and it is not because of his sexual orientation or supposed media distractions.

    I don’t know whether this announcement affects his draft stock but I just don’t think it is that high to begin with. He’s a third day pick.

  41. Dogsweat says: Feb 10, 2014 7:50 PM

    Green Bay the mecca of liberal tolerance.

  42. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 10, 2014 8:41 PM

    I wouldn’t interpret the Eagles “why would it change anything ” reply as a ringing endorsement to draft Sam.

    Would they dare say if they would hold it against him?

  43. tiger2471 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:43 PM

    Maybe San Diego should draft him.

  44. sandmike says: Feb 10, 2014 8:53 PM

    The Packers are a no-drama organization. I’m not sure he will be off their board but I would bet he will drop because the media circus makes him a bigger risk. If they think he can rush the passer they may still consider him provided he drops far enough to make the risk/reward ratio acceptable. I do think he would be best served to downplay his uniqueness if he wants keep his stock up.

  45. bubbasmithguy says: Feb 10, 2014 9:01 PM

    They say there is safety in numbers. If the Packers draft Sam at least he has Rodgers on the team.

  46. gbmickey says: Feb 10, 2014 9:28 PM

    If the guy has the talent he will be taken regardless if gay or not. Say Clowney was gay do you honestly believe he would drop out of top ten? Minnesota I can see pass with the whole Kluwe debacle but no one else.

  47. stevent92 says: Feb 11, 2014 12:08 AM

    Of course he shot up Ted Thompson’s draft board. No real surprise there.

  48. pftbro says: Feb 11, 2014 6:55 AM

    Considering Chip Kelly still lives with his mother why would the Eagles have a problem with this player?

  49. richardmswartz says: Feb 11, 2014 10:46 AM

    This is a non-issue and will be a non-story by draft day. To the extent it’s mentioned when he is drafted, everybody will be much more concerned about his ability to play. He will not be a distraction in any locker room. No one will be interested in the story by week 2 of the preseason.

    As said a couple of times above, he just doesn’t fit in with the Eagles needs and would only be drafted by them if the other 31 teams do keep on passing him and he becomes the best player available. Also as said above, if the Eagles locker room could take on the Vick circus and then the Cooper circus, what makes anyone think they’ll have a problem with this guy?

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