Goodell: I want to see Michael Sam get a chance in the NFL


Michael Sam is poised to become the NFL’s first openly gay player if he’s drafted or signs as an undrafted free agent in the coming days. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell welcomes that.

“I want to see Michael Sam get an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Goodell said on ESPN. “We like to say the NFL is the ultimate meritocracy. If you can play football, they want to see you play. The teams want you. The fans want you. And that’s ultimately what it’s all about. I have great respect for Michael, his courage, his decision to become public, and I’m optimistic that he’s going to get that opportunity, and hopefully he can play at this level.”

Although Sam was the defensive player of the year in the SEC, he’s not expected to be drafted until the late rounds on Saturday, if he’s drafted at all. Sam had his best games against lesser competition, and he didn’t do well at the Scouting Combine. He’s not viewed as a great pro prospect.

But as the NFL’s first openly gay player, he will be a great role model for young people, and a good symbol of progress in the NFL. Goodell is right to be rooting for him.

37 responses to “Goodell: I want to see Michael Sam get a chance in the NFL

  1. If he is good enough to play in the NFL and make a contribution to a team, he will get his chance.

    Whether he gets his chance or not will be nothing to do with his sexuality, nor should it be.

  2. It is no secret the Ravens need help at ILB. If he doesn’t get drafted and not discounting the Ravens don’t draft him but I am sure if undrafted the Ravens will try to sign him as an UDFA.

  3. I believe people should not be discriminated against because of their sexuality, but they shouldn’t be given special treatment either……

    Hopefully all college players get a chance in the NFL.

  4. Goodell is an enigma to me….. The Commish is a business administrator who is employed by the team owners, yet he speaks as if he were in charge, sounding like he’s directing the owners…..Is he actually vested by the owners with power to tell them what to do in some areas? I don’t think so, but his tone comes across like the boss.

  5. How do the nfl scouts know he won’t be good. He won def player of the yr. people must of thought he was good

    Terry bridge water sucked at his combine he will get drafted

  6. Great comments by Goodell, especially since they come the day after Richard Sherman’s irresponsible speculation that Goodell wouldn’t do the right thing if the NFL had a bigoted owner like Sterling.

  7. Really? He’s a role model just because he made it to the NFL? Anyone who thinks Sam is a hero needs to Google Mark Bingham. I love football. But good role models do more than play sports.

  8. Of course Goodell wants to see him get drafted. It’s pretty simple, and has nothing to do with whether or not Sam is good enough to play in the NFL..

    Sam gets drafted, good publicity

    Sam doesn’t get drafted, bad publicity.

  9. This sounds like Brian Banks 2.0

    Everyone wanted a team, any team, to put Banks on its roster solely because of the hell he went thru. Unfortunately, Banks wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL.

    Back off Goddell. If Sam is good enough he’ll get his chance.

  10. hope the kid gets a chance, however if he doesn’t make it and gets cut the team is going to have to make it very clear as to why he was cut to avoid a media backlash.

  11. To be considered to be the 1st, shouldn’t the 1st gay NFL players actually be in the NFL? I doubt he gets drafted. No reason to take that publicity for a guy who may not even make the team.

  12. He’ll go undrafted probably. A team will take a chance on him as a UDFA. But if the media scrutinity proves to be too big, then he might not get another chance.

  13. Maybe Jerrah Jones will select Sam with his first round pick. Jerrah loves free publicity and a media circus above all else.

  14. If talented, he will make it. If not, he won’t. Sexual preference shouldn’t hinder or give anyone preference on getting into the NFL or any business.

  15. Goodell just now (speaking at the draft) talks of the season ticket holders in front of him in a manner that, due to them being there, it is a sign in support of him and what he does with the NFL…lol.

    Not even close Goodell.

    You’re all about money and couldn’t care less about the fans.

  16. I just hope he ends up on the 49ers. Chris Culliver, Sam, and Jonathan Martin all in the same locker room?! I’ll get my popcorn ready.

  17. I want to see Roger Goodell get a chance to be Commissioner of the National Ping Pong Federation. Hopefully he can run a sports league at that level.

  18. I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodell fines the GM’s & HC’s who don’t pick Sam.

  19. Sam just isn’t good enough. A slow tweeter doesn’t make it at this level. No matter how much the press wants him to disrupt a locker room. It just won’t happen. Then the media will call the nfl discriminatory. Even though the liberal press knows next to nothing about the nfl. They just inject liberal causes to watch them fail.

  20. Role model? Really? Sir Charles said it best, no athlete should be a role model. Real heroes, real role models, are found outside of multi million dollar athletes.

  21. 5 gets you 10 that if he isn’t taken by the end of the 6th round goodell gets on the phone to just about every GM and puts on the pressure.


  22. So Rush Limbaugh got skewered for saying that McNabb got the benefit of the doubt because the media wanted a black QB to be successful. But here’s a guy that nobody cared about or even mentioned until he came out, and now people hope he succeeds because he is gay. Clearly his success was not a concern until he came out.

    If he can play football, great. If he can’t, he’ll join hundreds of others who don’t make the league, or stay long. Gay will have nothing to do with it.

  23. You guys saying that he shouldn’t even be picked before Mr. Irrelevant are revisionists.

    Before anybody knew this kid was gay, he was a consensus 3rd rounder.

    Now that you know he’s gay, you’re claiming that the “gay agenda” — him coming out — is the only reason he’ll get drafted.

    You make me sick.

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