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Teams more worried about Sam reaction from fans

Michael Sam AP

While Michael Sam has been an object of fascination for fans and media since his decision to announce he was gay before the Scouting Combine, many coaches and personnel men around the league have reacted with a shrug.

That’s because he might be the first openly gay player in the league, but he’s far from the first gay player in the league.

None of that matters in the locker room,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “Every locker room I’ve been in, it’s been all about winning. If you had a hand in us winning, and you were different, guys accepted it.

“Fans? That’s a very different story. I’ve walked into stadiums where gentlemen are teaching their sons how to moon the bus and moms are teaching their daughters what their middle fingers are for, and it’s not a ring. That scares me more, what’s going to be said from the stands. The locker room won’t be a problem.”

Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim echoed that sentiment, saying his part of the world is more concerned with the football evaluation.

“This is a big issue across the country, and you might think G.M.s would be talking to each other and it would be a big topic. And it’s actually not,” Keim said. “I haven’t had one conversation with a G.M. or other personnel guy about the situation.

“I just want to see how he moves on the field, what he runs and what kind of player he is on tape.”

Of course, teams were also carefully instructed not to make his orientation an issue, via a recent memo which reiterated their non-discrimination policy.

But for at least a small part of the process that could lead him to the NFL, Michael Sam is getting his wish — to just be a football player and not a gay football player.

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12 Responses to “Teams more worried about Sam reaction from fans”
  1. dioxinblues says: Feb 23, 2014 1:16 PM

    Fans are jerks to opposing teams. Always. Though excellent play does have a way of quieting them down a bit.

  2. padraighansen says: Feb 23, 2014 1:31 PM

    The Arizona Cardinals should be worried both about the reaction from their own state government as well as their constituents who voted those wannabe Klan ass-clowns into office. That may be the worst possible landing spot for Sam – the 2014 version of 1963 Mississippi.

  3. bowmanj35 says: Feb 23, 2014 1:33 PM

    no they aren’t, they’re saying that so they don’t have to say their locker room can’t handle it.

  4. nagaswan says: Feb 23, 2014 1:45 PM

    If it scares you that someone might do it, stand up and tell them they better not, and if they do, they can expect to be treated like the worthless bigots they are (which doesn’t involve living comfortably).

  5. rcali says: Feb 23, 2014 2:22 PM

    Pass on the circus so ur team can focus on winning. Sounds like an easy decision to me and Arians finally had the balls to point out the obvious.

  6. 1historian says: Feb 23, 2014 2:48 PM

    padraighansen – Hypothetical question –

    I have a house here in New England and suppose I wanted to go out west for a few years.

    I advertise in the newspapers and Mr. & Mr. Fred and Bruce show up and decide they want to rent it and I say (in my unenilghtened way) “no I don’t approve of your lifestyle and won’t rent it to you”.

    I would get hauled into court by the happy couple, I would most probably be sued for being a bad person, I would lose the case and I might just lose my house, not to mention being labeled as Mr. Ickletron by the likes of you.

    Which brings me to this question – I worked for 36 years as a union laborer, I worked my butt off for those 36 years and I put my whole life into this house, so – shouldn’t I have the decision as to whom I want to rent it to without the threat of legal action hanging over my head? ?

  7. willycents says: Feb 23, 2014 4:08 PM

    “shouldn’t I have the decision as to whom I want to rent it to without the threat of legal action hanging over my head? ?”
    Absolutely not. You are only “renting” your house from the government (property taxes) and living in it at its convenience (zoning laws and eminent domain) so they have all the right to dictate what you do with their house. Remember, protected classes have the rights, the rest of us have none.

  8. laxcoach37 says: Feb 23, 2014 5:12 PM

    This guy is a nice feel good story, but I bet Teams are very scared of him. The problem is he will bring both wanted and unwanted publicity, but as a mid-rounder his chances of staying on a Roster after his Rookie contract is very slim according to the numbers/facts. Now some organization has to cut him at some point… Good luck with that publicity nightmare. The slanted media already marked that day on their calendars!

  9. mediasloppy says: Feb 23, 2014 7:35 PM

    Lets all remember at this time last year the same exact stuff was being said of Manti Te’o…

  10. sylvester000001 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:58 AM

    It depends.

    If you incorporate as an actual real estate business (even though you rent just your own property), I think since you’re a business you have to follow all kinds of laws. It’s wise to incorporate yourself as an actual business because if something happens, like a slip and fall, the person can only sue the business (even if it is just you) and that’s all they can take from you, not your actual personal home or assets, even if it’s the very home an accident occurred.

    If you take someone in your home without being a business and just a regular priovate citizen, you’re not required to be beholden by any law. You can do whatever you want because you’re a private citizen. However not being incorporated as a business you’re done if there’s an accident.

    The bottom line being: just because any one citizen wants to live in a place doesn’t mean any other private citizen is therefore forced to give it to them.

    Discrimination is: the government making a law that says gay men cannot rent homes. You will be arrested if you are gay and try to rent, you will be arrested if you rent to a gay. (this is different from renting to illegals, because they’re illegal. It’s not discrimination to make arrests in that case because of the illegality of the individual.)

    Discrimination is not: I don’t want to rent to anyone who’s lifestyle I, as a private citizen with the same equal rights as everyone else, disapprove of. Simply because as much as anyone has the right to be gay, you have the right to not be gay. As much as anyone has the right to say gay is great, you have the same right of equality to say no i don’t agree with that. As much as anyone has the right to be comfortable with gay, you have the same equal right to be uncomfortable with it as an equal private citizen.

  11. Ed Bandell says: Feb 24, 2014 2:10 AM

    How can Sam not be a gay football player? I mean, he kind of let us all know that is exactly what he is.

    The highlighted quote isn’t exactly what he said. He said he wanted to be known as just a football player, and not that gay football player. Harkening back to other calls for him to just be judged for what he’s done on the field.

    The problem I have is that everything I have seen reported on him doesn’t mention what he’s done on the field. It doesn’t mention what his combine efforts are. Everything I have come across that is shoved in my face is his sexuality. Not by his doing; entirely, I mean he did come out and announce his sexuality to the world, but it has been perpetuated by the media.

    I have to go searching for information about him. What he did as Missouri, what his stats are, what his projected draft round is, what his strengths and weaknesses are.

    Guy had a very lackluster session with the bench press. Any story on that? Nope, just more about his sexual preference and how people might treat him.

    Maybe people would tend to treat him more like a football player if the media would present him as more of one instead of some media circus?

  12. Ed Bandell says: Feb 24, 2014 2:14 AM

    I also take a bit of an issue with what Arians is saying. He is saying that the fans are the ones that will be intolerant.

    Has he had his head buried in the sand with what some current and former players have said on the issue? It is clear that Sam doesn’t have 100% support from his hopefully soon to be fellow NFL players.

    I think the public at large will be rather supportive of Sam. Of course there will be that small percentage of people that will sling insults at him since he is a member of the visiting team, and there are those that will also cling on to their beliefs and not agree with his sexual orientation.

    But let’s not act like the NFL population at large will universally accept him. We all know that NFL players are not all perfect little open minded angels.

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