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Dansby says it’ll be difficult for Michael Sam

Dansby AP

The voices continue to emerge regarding the decision of Michael Sam to come out as gay.

As if comments from Sam’s father didn’t make it clear that Sam will face real challenges, Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby has said that, indeed, it won’t be easy for Sam and his eventual NFL team.

It will definitely be a distraction, without a doubt,” Dansby told SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday, via ArizonaSports.com.  “That’s something that you really don’t even really want to talk about.  You want to talk about football and making plays, and doing stuff like that.  And the team you’re about to play against.  You don’t want to answer questions about one’s sexual preference. . . .

“You’ll try to mask the situation, but it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be hard, man.  Because it’s such a big topic.  Him being the first guy to really come out and say those things, there’s going to be a lot of questions being asked day in and day out. . . .  I think it will be difficult, just from the nature of the game.  And the history of the game and the things that go on in a locker room; I think it will be tough, I think it will be tough on him.  I think it will be real hard on him.”

Of course, it wasn’t hard for Sam last year in Missouri.  But he made his declaration at a time when he already was a team leader.  Now, he’s coming in as the rookie, the newcomer, the guy who’s trying to prove himself.  It will be harder to win over a locker room without a history of proven ability.

And so he’ll have to prove his ability, every day.  In time, the questions will subside — just as they always do.  But the questions will be there, at least for a while.

On one hand, having three months for everyone to ask questions and process the issues before the draft could diminish the potential distraction down the road.  On the other hand, the drafting of Sam in early May will dust everything off all over again, renewing the questions and extending the story into training camp, the preseason, and (if Sam makes the team) beyond.

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23 Responses to “Dansby says it’ll be difficult for Michael Sam”
  1. cursedvikings1998 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:07 AM

    The reason it will be tough on him is because idiots like Karlos Dansby will make sure it will be tough on him.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 12, 2014 10:13 AM

    Maybe it will be tough on him off the field, but if he can find a way to redirect any negative energy sent to him and find a way to carry himself without it bringing him down, then it could just make him more powerful. I have seen a lot of footage of him on the sidelines when he’s not on the field, and I see a guy that looks like he’s always in a zone. Hard or not hard, if he can rise up to the NFL game level and do well, then it’s his opponents that will have an even harder time dealing with him.

  3. psmith7716 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:19 AM

    Anyone who has played the game knows the nature of the locker room. Mr. Dansby simply is telling it as he sees it. I feel it is a true assessment. At best, it will be a tremendous distraction.

  4. charger88 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:21 AM

    I think more teams are afraid of the thought of a discrimination lawsuit rather than how much of a distraction Sam will be. Especially with the outcome of the Jonathan Martin situation still lingering. How much is Martin gonna get paid once he sues? He will sue someone. Owners and GMs think $. What is going to happen when someone says or does something to Sam regarding his sexuality? Is he just gonna shrug it off, even when it gets to the point where it is overwhelming? I bet the Patriots roll the dice because they know they have a tight lipped locker room and good veteran leadership. Kraft and BB take the plunge if he’s there late in the 5th. Bet on it.

  5. rutchaser says: Feb 12, 2014 10:23 AM

    Problem is most media guys never played football and don’t know what a locker room is like. No matter what level this is on, if you’ve played the sport you know exactly what Dansby is saying. If you never played, I don’t want to hear what you have to say anyway.

  6. FinFan68 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:28 AM

    The problem is the questions. Today’s media wants to generate the stories rather than just reporting things that happen. If you want the hoopla to go away put the microphones and recorders down and just report on things that actually happen.

    End the speculation reporting, verify stories with more than one source and just report facts. Is that too much to ask?

  7. cshearing says: Feb 12, 2014 10:44 AM

    Okay, yes, it may be a distraction. Just like Jackie Robinson was a distraction.

    Being a distraction does not mean it should not happen.

  8. phinatic29 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:48 AM

    so now Dansby is a bad guy for having an opinion?

    Somebody please strip him of his first amendment rights.

    it WILL be a distraction – the media will make sure of it.

    But I think Sam is a good enough player with good enough character – his new teammates will accept him just like the guys at Missouri did.

  9. 1rockyracoon says: Feb 12, 2014 11:25 AM

    You have to admire NFL locker rooms (note the sarcasm). It’s a place where you are a distraction (that’s the word many people are using) if you are a man who honest about who they are, but it’s not a distraction if you are a womanizer or a man who hits women or a man who neglects his children or a man who takes PEDs or a man who hangs out with people who kill 2 other men or a man who kills someone driving drunk or a man who leads an illegal dogfighting ring. Nope. Due whatever immoral thing you want to do and it’s not a distraction. But, live an honest and open life and you become a distraction.

  10. luz56 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:36 AM

    A very stupid comment made by an uneducated wealthy athlete…,

  11. jrod2173 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:38 AM

    Its not the players he has to worry about. Its the media following him around constantly asking questions and badgering him and his teammates. Look how this has blown up already? This guy is a 3rd-5th round pick. Normally someone getting that drafted that low gets no press. Now his name will be the most watched in the draft. You aren’t just drafting him, you are drafting the entire media along with him. Can you imagine if he is a bust and you have to cut him?!?! I am 100% positive this guy is now off draft boards not because he is gay, but because of the circus that now surrounds him.

  12. luz56 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:39 AM

    And yes I have played enough football and been in enough locker rooms and played with enough guys that were gay and it was not a distraction….. The media is the biggest problem in this case

  13. richc111 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:40 AM

    He said what I have been saying. All of you guys taking shots at him are the stupid ones. You don’t play in the NFL. How would you like the media to follow you around at work? I bet none of you would fair very well after every move you make is scrutized.

  14. rubicon202 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:46 AM

    For some player’s and coaches it will be a distraction. You can jump up and down and wave the “this isn’t right flag” all you want; it’ll be a distraction.

    @luz56 get a clue…or buy one next time you go to the store.

  15. grandpoopah says: Feb 12, 2014 11:57 AM

    Yes, Karlos, and 60 years ago it would have been “difficult” for someone with your skin tone to be in an NFL locker room. Luckily for all of us, athletes and society got past it.

  16. duece5 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:11 PM

    He would be LYING if Dansby said it was a piece of cake.

    There are many questions and concerns, from the over media, non football media that will besiege the team, fair or unfair, it will be an avalanche at the beginning, but as Florio said, it will more than likely diminish more.

    One thing I don’t agree with Florio is that he stated there were “no problems” in Missouri. How do you know that Mike? These are young guys, that still don’t speak up as much as full/mature men……they could have felt uncomfortable, but decided to say nothing. It is totally NAIVE to assume that 100% of his Missouri teammates, at one time or the other, weren’t uncomfortable with something. That will probably come out later, but it APPEARS there weren’t major issues at Missouri.

    But, the NFL organization that drafts Sam has to be conscious of the attitudes of ALL the players, just not Michael Sam.

    If a teammate tells the organization that they feel uncomfortable showering in his presence, then, the organization needs to be understanding of such. In a football NFL locker room, you just can’t FORCE a teammate NOT to feel uncomfortable if they actually are.

    Men mature, so, you will have different attitudes about same sex relationships.

    The NFL is not college.

    I applaud Dansby for his honesty, and, to his credit, NEVER bashed Sam at all. He just gives a fair and decent summation of the situation from his perspective as a mature football player in the NFL.

  17. jimmyt says: Feb 12, 2014 12:18 PM

    It would be funny if Sam scheduled a presser to say he’s changed his mind.

  18. hollywood26 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:41 PM

    I think Dansby is right. there will definitely be a period of adjustment. But that’s the thing, they will adjust as most have their entire lives. This argument reminds me so much of the comments about openly gay people in the military. A bunch of noise was generated and people wrote a million stories. Then the merge happened and since then, nothing.

    He will have to deal with language and people not being totally comfortable at first. So what, he’s dealt with that his whole life including the opinions of his own mother and father. I doubt this will get to him to such an extent it becomes an issue.

  19. realfootballfan says: Feb 12, 2014 12:58 PM

    For people criticizing Dansby, you’re off base here. He’s one of the good guys in the NFL. He’s simply relaying that the microscope that this young man is going to go under along with the nature of the ulta competitive NFL locker room isn’t going to be a good mix. This isn’t college, and certainly isn’t Columbia, MO we’re talking about here. You’ll have the TMZs of the world following this guy around just because, which isn’t going to go over well with the rest of the locker room.

  20. wjarvis says: Feb 12, 2014 1:02 PM

    Of course it will be difficult for Sam, he’s probably going to get picked on the final day of the draft. It’s a difficult transition for any of these players. I think his hardest problem is going to be adapting to special teams, which is where he’s going to need make an impact if he’s going to stay on a roster. He’ll have the additional problem of having the media wanting to talk to him everyday while he could be getting extra coaching, which is not usually the case for a late round pick.

  21. nouhoh64 says: Feb 12, 2014 2:46 PM

    No one should make trouble for a gay person but no one should be forced to accept a gay lifestyle either. I see one side talking about courage then bashing people who don’t agree with them.

  22. rcali says: Feb 12, 2014 3:39 PM

    How dare he not have a positive opinion on this topic! What does he think this is, the United States of America?

  23. usdcoyotesfan says: Feb 13, 2014 2:31 PM

    Hey Karlos,
    Your winning fumble return touchdown in the playoff game against the Packers. Your teammate got away with almost ripping Aaron Rodgers’ facemask off when the ball was still loose. It should’ve given the Packers an automatic 1st down.

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