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Member since: Sat Jun 9, 2012, 08:30 AM
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Michael Sam Drafted by Rams

"Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is a polarizing prospect in more ways than one, but that didn't stop the St. Louis Rams from nabbing him with the 249th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Perhaps no player aside from Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel received more attention than Sam throughout the pre-draft process. Some of that related to his ability to translate to the NFL level, but there is no doubt that his decision to announce that he is gay bolstered media buzz even more.

The significance of Sam being the NFL's first openly gay active player isn't lost on anyone. It will inevitably be a talking point throughout his career; however, the length of that career will be based solely upon what he does on the field."


"Homosexuality in sports is seemingly more widely accepted now than ever before, but every player has his own belief system. Even so, NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth believes that Sam will be welcomed, according to ESPN.com:

The team's gonna build up around their teammate, and it's going to galvanize the team. Everyone's talking about how this could disrupt the locker room. Some NFL locker rooms need disrupting, to be frank. Coaches go through a lot of different things to try to build a bond between the team, and what's going to build a bond more than having a player that all the guys know is kind of a target for opposing fans and maybe a target for opposing players?

That type of stuff is what makes you build up around a guy, and Missouri seemed to have a pretty good season. So I expect whatever team he goes to is not going to be adversely affected. If anything, they could be positively affected by adding a man like that.

The fact that Sam already has a ringing endorsement from such an important figure obviously bodes well for his chances of NFL success. Even if Sam is received with open arms, though, he must prove that he belongs through his on-field performance.

Despite being undersized and perhaps lacking in terms of speed, Sam was a dominant force at the highest level of college football. That doesn't guarantee NFL success, but it suggests that he has the grit and determination to be a factor.

Sam is about to get the chance that he has earned, and his track record suggests that he will do everything in his power to make the most of it."

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