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Michael Sam declines TV appearances during the draft

michaelsam AP

Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam will be the biggest story of the late rounds of the NFL draft, as he’ll become the first openly gay player in the NFL if he is selected or signed as an undrafted free agent. But Sam is taking a low-key approach to all the attention he’ll get this week.

According to sports business reporter Mark J. Burns, Sam has declined the requests of both ESPN and NFL Network to have a camera with him during the draft. Sam getting a phone call informing him that he’s in the NFL — or sitting there waiting for his phone to ring — would make for great TV, but Sam doesn’t want to participate.

That’s not surprising. Sam has made clear from Day One that he wants to focus his attention on football, and that he doesn’t want to have any distractions as he pursues his dream of making it in the NFL.

Still, it would be nice to have cameras capture Sam’s big moment, if he does get a phone call telling him he’s been drafted. Perhaps a friend or family member can record it for history.

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38 Responses to “Michael Sam declines TV appearances during the draft”
  1. bucrightoff says: May 6, 2014 1:03 PM

    Good for him, he knows the media just wants to use him for their own benefit.

  2. wannabear says: May 6, 2014 1:03 PM

    That’s a mature decision. I hope he get drafted.

  3. touchdownroddywhite says: May 6, 2014 1:04 PM

    Dear baby Jesus, please let him be the most highly discussed ‘Mr Irrelevant’ in the history of the title, at the very least. I don’t want to deal with the media storm that would come from him going undrafted.

  4. nyfootballgiants says: May 6, 2014 1:05 PM

    I wish him luck, but as we get closer to the draft – the hype is disappearing. Currently, he is viewed as a 3rd day draft candidate or a priority free agent.

    I hope that if he has the skills to succeed at this level that he is given the chance – and that hype over his sexual preference has no bearing on this or the reporting

  5. Remember Brian Brohm says: May 6, 2014 1:07 PM

    If the media would just leave this guy alone, he might actually have a chance.

  6. zdravit says: May 6, 2014 1:08 PM

    “That’s not surprising. Sam has made clear from Day One that he wants to focus his attention on football, and that he doesn’t want to have any distractions as he pursues his dream of making it in the NFL.”

    That explains why he came out.

  7. jjackwagon says: May 6, 2014 1:08 PM

    Take his sexuality out of it and then tell me why watching him versus any other prospect “would make for great TV”.
    Good for Sam.

  8. uglydingo says: May 6, 2014 1:08 PM

    The media want to make it a big event. Michael Sam is smart to decline the opportunity. The media are like vultures wanting to get a story out of seeing him rejected.
    I hope that he gets drafted by an open minded team, GM, coach and owner. His honesty in publicly coming out and not remaining closeted like 50+ gay players currently in the NFL – he is a good footballer and deserves a chance.
    Good luck Michael Sam.

  9. theytukrjobs says: May 6, 2014 1:10 PM

    What would make capturing his moment any more special than any other player’s? You have to be pretty bigoted to believe his moment would be different than any other borderline prospect.

  10. kosarkid says: May 6, 2014 1:17 PM

    That’s the smartest thing he can do. Not many teams are willing to jump on a prospect in the 5th + rounds that’s going to create a media frenzy. He said what he wanted to say and now it looks like he’s content with just that. Good for him.

  11. doe22us says: May 6, 2014 1:19 PM

    ESPN and NFL network are such slime balls, using him to promote their ratings/agenda.

  12. rtwoj says: May 6, 2014 1:20 PM

    Good. We don’t need to see an average player’s reaction when he gets drafted in the 5th Round.

  13. nfl4dummies says: May 6, 2014 1:27 PM

    256 players will be drafted. Gonna put a camera in all their faces or just the guy who is openly gay?

    Enough with this non-sense already.

  14. upperdecker19 says: May 6, 2014 1:36 PM

    Send the cameras to Tebow’s house instead. He’s got plenty of time on his hand and is always a ratings bonanza for these TV execs

  15. defscottyb says: May 6, 2014 1:45 PM

    Good idea, don’t be a distraction. Your better off.

  16. noahbird says: May 6, 2014 1:46 PM

    Work hard & Good luck, Sam!

  17. chris6523 says: May 6, 2014 1:47 PM

    Any news on whether any other 6th round prospects are going to make themselves available for the draft?

  18. time2speakup says: May 6, 2014 1:50 PM

    The media wanting to relish in and make a spectacle of a defining moment in this man’s life is sad. Thank Heaven he, or someone who cares about him, had the good sense to make and stand by his decision to not “play the hype game.”

    You look at this, and it is no small wonder that gay pro’s stay hidden. It is, to me, a testament of how far we have come that any number of gay athlete’s have come and gone, or are still active, and their team mates respect their privacy. I wish them all well.

  19. andrewluck12 says: May 6, 2014 1:54 PM

    Good kid. In the right system he could be a great situational guy. But please let him be already. He’s made his peace with his choice in life, everyone should do the same.

  20. dalcow4 says: May 6, 2014 2:16 PM

    I wish him well, but this is exactly why he WON’T get drafted. No team wants to deal with this nonsense for a mediocre player.

  21. fwippel says: May 6, 2014 2:18 PM

    One day, and soon, I hope the sports media will realize that having an openly gay player in an NFL locker is no big deal, and it hasn’t been for a long time.

  22. thraiderskin says: May 6, 2014 2:24 PM

    Thank u Mr Sam for making the draft about football… many criticized him for why he came out when he did, but its clear now what his motive was and that is football. If he gets drafted, it won’t be a “look what our franchise did” moment, it’ll be a football moment. He deserves to get drafted, just on the third day.

  23. barneyrumble says: May 6, 2014 2:26 PM

    This is actually one of only a few articles I have seen about Sam since the combine. I haven’t seen the media hounding him. I am honestly shocked that I haven’t seen much more on him. Maybe the country is becoming more tolerant or maybe just the intolerance of Donald Sterling has overshadowed Sam, either way, glad this hasn’t been in our face everyday like stories trying to get a gay football player to come out were. Good for Sam and hope he makes the most of his chance in the NFL.

  24. alchemistcirca1979 says: May 6, 2014 2:27 PM

    I wish him the best, but he my not get drafted (based on talent) and Im sure he understands that. He will make a team as a rookie free agent. Good luck Sam

  25. florida727 says: May 6, 2014 2:27 PM

    If you think a camera on him would “make great TV”, then you don’t know much about great TV.

  26. kansacity88 says: May 6, 2014 2:29 PM

    I ain’t even worried about him and his sexual preferences anymore. I just wanna see the guy play football because when last we saw him, he didn’t exactly do well at the combine or pro day!

  27. theauger says: May 6, 2014 2:35 PM

    Three months too late.

  28. dkalev says: May 6, 2014 2:38 PM

    Hope the giants blow a 6th on him… I mean, being the DPoY in the Sec can’t make him that bad, besides coughlins hard nosed approach and Elis aw shucks attitude would make it impossible for the media to get any straight answers… Plus they could use a pass rusher/outside linebacker, he may not be an ideal fit, but hey, half of something is better than 100% of nothing…

  29. joshtanney says: May 6, 2014 2:45 PM

    Sounds like a solid young man. Hope he gets drafted.

  30. vikesr4reel says: May 6, 2014 2:46 PM

    If he is good he will be drafted.
    I don’t believe anyone will hold his personal life against him in the draft…

  31. listenup823 says: May 6, 2014 2:49 PM

    This guy thought it would boost his draft value by telling everyone he was gay when everyone knows he’s a mediocre player.. Can you say “backfire?” Nobody wants this circus in their town..

  32. rcali says: May 6, 2014 3:54 PM

    Don’t worry, the talking heads covering the draft will keep us all aware of his situation throughout the draft…..endlessly.

  33. sd619tripleog says: May 6, 2014 4:03 PM

    who cares, his sexual orientation is completely irrelevant to anything. There’s no reason for every single news outlet to talk about what someone does behind closed doors.

  34. 1phillyphan says: May 6, 2014 4:31 PM

    The stigma about him is going to be sad….he will always be a media focus because of his preference. Which in today’s world is sad. He is actually a good Football player, not great but deserves a chance to make a career. That doesn’t mean some teams will shy away because of his preference. I’m pretty sure every locker room would accept him..the problem is the media would hound his story daily and some coaches and teams just don’t want the media circus..If he goes to a team and by his skill set alone doesn’t make the cut..that team will be scorned even though they gave him a fair chance for cutting him..So I’m sure some alot of teams just will take him off their draft board. I hope he makes it into the NFL and I hope he has a good career..One day we will ALL just judge a player on his ability not sexual preference or color of skin ( Black QB’s, White WR’s / RB’s) it took the NFL 75 years to finally realize a black man can be a great QB and win a SuperBowl (Doug Williams) How long will it take for the NFL to realize what a man does at home does not affect his abilities on the field.

  35. gofor2with3pointlead says: May 6, 2014 5:26 PM

    My problem here is the NFL Network and ESPN asked. TMZ or something like that I can see but I have to question “The Shields” motivations, I seriously doubt they would put a camera on him if they didn’t know he was getting drafted. There just isn’t anything in it for them if he isn’t drafted and they’ve got it all on tape.

  36. flyinghighphil says: May 6, 2014 8:53 PM

    Glad to hear he’s not playing the medias game. He seems like a good kid, and I hope he is drafted.Then has a great career.If he is drafted by the RAMS (my team) I will cheer him on even more either way . I wish him luck.

  37. 1historian says: May 7, 2014 11:34 AM

    The kid was smart to do it this way.

    The media can’t help being the media.

    A male dog pees on a tree.

    A squirrel eats the birdseed I put out for the birds.

    My dog begs for food – even when I banish him from the room I can feel the vibes from the other room.

    The media does what they do.

    What do they all have in common? They can’t really help it – it’s what they do.

    Good luck to the kid.

  38. steveb9995 says: May 7, 2014 1:11 PM

    Good for him. It just underlines the point that he’s first and foremost a football player, and he wants to be treated like any other mid-round prospect.

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