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White House Correspondents’ Dinner among the invitations Michael Sam declined

2014 NFL Combine Getty Images

Michael Sam wants NFL teams to know he’s thinking only about football.

Sam, the former Missouri defensive end who is poised to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, has turned down a wide variety of off-field opportunities. For now, all of Sam’s focus is on working out and preparing to be a professional football player. Sam’s advisor Howard Bragman told USA Today that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was among the invitations that Sam declined.

“We respectfully declined,” Bragman said. “As much fun as I would have had and he would have had going, it sends the wrong message. If he gets on a team and plays well, he’ll probably be invited next year. I don’t want people to think that he’s interested in anything other than getting ready for the draft.”

That’s a wise approach. Sam turned in a disappointing workout at the Scouting Combine, and he needs to look better at Missouri’s March 20 Pro Day. His focus is where it should be right now, on football.

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37 Responses to “White House Correspondents’ Dinner among the invitations Michael Sam declined”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 7, 2014 1:19 PM

    What a diva.

  2. thepftpoet says: Mar 7, 2014 1:22 PM

    Isn’t another publicity stunt exactly what Michael Sam wants?

  3. uglydingo says: Mar 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    Good call, Michael – you can go next year and enjoy the adoration, but for now the priority is getting drafted by a team that wants you as a footballer not a celebrity.
    Ironically, the Dolphins could be a decent fit to show that they are proactive in cleaning up the bullygate culture.

  4. 4allintensivepurposes says: Mar 7, 2014 1:26 PM

    So maybe it wasn’t just for attention.

  5. jjackwagon says: Mar 7, 2014 1:32 PM

    Would he have gotten the invitation if he had not “come out”? No.
    Sam did the right thing. He wants to be known as a great football player…not a great gay football player.

  6. stacie73104 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:32 PM

    I do not understand why it is so important for some people to broadcast their sexuality.

    It’s none of my business what he or anyone else does in the bedroom.

    Just another example of:

    Look at me, Look at me

  7. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 7, 2014 1:33 PM

    A White House Invitation rooted in one’s sexual preference.

    Wow. Sounds kind of discriminatory. Do other players that are otherwise similarly situated get White House Invitations???

    Welcome to the relentless world of Political Correctness we live in. Amazingly, those trumpeting such virtues express outrage over discrimination — unless, of course, that discrimination happens to fit nicely into the P.C. realm.

  8. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:34 PM

    Good for him for just wanting to put his head down and try to make a team like everyone else.

    Why is everyone being so cynical about this?

  9. ace8842 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:35 PM

    Sickening that the White House treats Sam like some kind of war hero…good of Sam to decline for his career.

  10. socaldolfan420 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:35 PM

    @uglydingo ….. the dolphins have 0 football use for him, hes not big enought to play a 4-3 DE. and isnt skilled enough to be a OLB in a 4-3 scheme. they just (wasted a ) pick(ed) last year on a pass rusher in D. Jordan, and we see how well that worked out. i wish M. Sam the best where ever he does end up, but hell be of no use in miami (other than the publicity)

  11. thejabronisayz says: Mar 7, 2014 1:37 PM

    The real news story here is why he’s being invited in the first place. It’s again promoting these guys like Jason Collins to celebrity status for simply announcing their sexuality to the world. I think the real progress will only come when these announcements cause no such fanfare by the media. With that being said, kudos to Sam for doing his best to ignore the media and focus on football.

  12. calhounlambeau says: Mar 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    This guy looked extremely stiff at the combine. Really stiff…

  13. rc33 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:40 PM

    Great the way he handled it but heck, dinner at the White House? That invite doesn’t come down the road too often. At least for me.

  14. pillowporkers says: Mar 7, 2014 1:41 PM

    This is embarrassing on the White House. Seriously this is complete garbage. Good for Michael Sam on being the more mature person and turning that down.

  15. johnodocks says: Mar 7, 2014 1:41 PM

    Funny how you have your publicist tell the world you turned down a White House invtiation because you don’t want the attention distracting you from the draft instead of just turning down the invitation and not saying anything about it.

  16. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:45 PM

    To everyone who thinks he did it for attention. He tried to fly under the radar but was told a reporter was going to break the story, so he broke it himself.

    Stop commenting on this like he did this for attention.

  17. thraiderskin says: Mar 7, 2014 1:45 PM

    So ridiculous.

  18. reesesteel23 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:48 PM

    calhounlambeau

    O did he now? You interested?

  19. woodreaux70119 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:48 PM

    when he fails to make an nfl team, he will have plenty of time to go be dumbama’s lap dog…

  20. 1rockyracoon says: Mar 7, 2014 1:48 PM

    It sounds like he is just the right person to break down this barrier and help our country move towards becoming a better nation. He has the maturity and disposition needed to be a trailblazer. The only reason he “came out” was because society still makes a big deal about a person’s sexuality. He is not flaunting his sexuality anymore than a heterosexual player who is seen in public with his girlfriend/wife. Thankfully, our country has turned the corner on granting equal rights to people who are LGBTQ. We still have a long way to go in ensuring everyone is treated fairly, but this is a big step in the right direction.

  21. chawkup says: Mar 7, 2014 1:48 PM

    Good for Michael Sam. He’s doing things the right way. And for all of you buffoons that keep saying that he should not have made any announcement, he was forced to by media members that were going to make the announcement for him. His only choice was to make the announcement on his own terms or someone else’s terms. Give the guy a break and let him prove himself on the football field.

  22. jgd3rd says: Mar 7, 2014 2:09 PM

    I wouldn’t want to be seen with this President either. Good call Michael.

  23. tdubdizzle says: Mar 7, 2014 2:09 PM

    The Vikings will probably get him.

  24. yp2k says: Mar 7, 2014 2:11 PM

    I’ll excuse the ignorance of the posts above, since the original post is misleading.

    The White House Correspondents Dinner is not a “White House dinner”. It is a dinner that is supposed to be in celebration of the media that covers the White House and is held at a hotel, not at the White House.

    The many media outlets usually bring “celebrity” guests to sit at their table. He could have been (and most likely was) extended an invitation by a media outlet (or even multiple outlets). And I wonder what my conservative friends would say if they found out it was by FOX News?

  25. myeaglescantwin says: Mar 7, 2014 2:12 PM

    i love how everyone is ripping Sam for making the statement about his sexuality..
    When there’s plenty of players who hide who they are . If it wasn’t an issue, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    the fact that one player is getting so much attention MEANS IT’S THAT BIG OF A DEAL..
    u mean to tell me just one,,, out of the hundreds of thousands that came before is this way?? get real.

    the truth has been hid for years.

    He’s being real. not being a coward (like so many are)
    i wonder how many other people could look a room of 300lb men in the face and admit that he is part of something they fear/hate.

    it’s a big deal. took a lot of guts
    cut the dude a break.

  26. fwippel says: Mar 7, 2014 2:12 PM

    Declining the White House correspondent’s dinner? Well, that means that he’s smart.

  27. doubleogator says: Mar 7, 2014 2:14 PM

    Totally agree with the post that says the real story is why did the White House invite him in the first place. That is a very good question…is he a hero of some sort? Has he defended our country by risking his life? Heck, he’s just a slightly better than average football player that may get drafted in the middle round of the NFL draft, just like a few hundred other college football players, none of them are getting invitations are they?

  28. gilperreault says: Mar 7, 2014 2:16 PM

    There goes Obama trying to hurt another guy’s job chances. Good call on turning down the attempt of political gain for the Pres at his career expense.

  29. lks311 says: Mar 7, 2014 2:20 PM

    Before you folks that never venture off Sports sites get bent out of shape, being invited to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and being invited BY the White House are mutually exclusive. Any organization OR PARTY with an extra ticket can invite anyone they choose. Case in point, one was extended to Ted Nugent last year. I’m pretty sure that did not originate from the current White House administration.

  30. deflateddome says: Mar 7, 2014 2:21 PM

    Obamas hero…

  31. deflateddome says: Mar 7, 2014 2:23 PM

    The question why was he invited in the first place. Hint: The only aspect of the Military that Obama was interested in was Don’t Ask Don’t Tell…

  32. slugbaitspace says: Mar 7, 2014 2:26 PM

    For high-profile athletes entering the draft, there are all kinds of “off-field opportunities”. Like signing a deal with Nike and broadcasting your “win”, for example.

    The key is to pick which opportunities are of value, and ignore the rest as noise.

    With that said, personally meeting and shaking hands with the POTUS is an opportunity that likely won’t come again until he wins the Super Bowl.

    And that meeting might have produced more “off-field opportunities”, much of which would be noise…but some opportunities could have been highly beneficial, perhaps for many people besides Sam.

  33. beerndrums says: Mar 7, 2014 2:44 PM

    For all we know,Sam might have started screaming at the thought of going.Trying on different wardrobes and asking if it made him look fat.
    His adviser probably slapped slapped him and told him to calm down.
    Not saying it happened that way but it wouldn’t surprise me if it did.

  34. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 7, 2014 5:19 PM

    They respectfully declined. “Michael barely managed to finish the 40 yard dash as it is, the last thing he needs is a few more pounds….”.

  35. slim1337 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:05 PM

    Could he be a TIGHT end

  36. sailbum7 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:32 PM

    This was definitely the right thing to do. The only reason he was being invited is because he is gay, not because he is a great football player or did something else to make him worthy of such an invitation. I give him credit for not allowing himself to be used as a political pawn by the Obama administration. It remains to be seen whether he gets drafted or makes an NFL team, but at least he seems to focusing on the right thing – football. He did not impress anyone at the combine so his status in the draft has dropped considerably. It is entirely possible that he will not be drafted. Then even if he is drafted, that is no guarantee of him actually making a team. With the media circus distraction that will be surrounding him, a team is going to really need to be convinced that he will help the team. The positive that he brings to the team needs to outweigh the distraction his presence will cause for the entire team.

  37. jollyjoker2 says: Mar 7, 2014 8:58 PM

    A nobody turning down a white house invite?

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