Will Michael Sam be Drafted to the NFL?

Courtesy+of+MCT+Campus+Service.

RICH SUGG

Courtesy of MCT Campus Service.

With the NFL draft coming up in May, many questions are being raised about Michael Sam, a defensive player of the year in the NCAA’s SEC conference. Will any team draft an openly gay defensive end?  With millions of dollars on the line for both Sam and whatever potential franchise might ultimately accept him, the fate of the former #52 Missouri Tiger remains to be seen.

This issue seems to be partly inflated by the press, and possibly undercuts the whole idea of equality by making a big deal of it–unless all of the 32 NFL general managers really are homophobic–which is possible but unlikely.  Although it seems the only problem with gay professional sports players are the “awkward” locker room situations.  Several coaches and current NFL players have unfortunately said some hateful and ignorant things in interviews and on social media; Jon Stewart addressed the hypocrisy of these statements most hilariously on his show.

But open discrimination would also be another problem. If nobody ends up drafting a guy that should go in the third or fourth round, that would make the entire NFL seem homophobic; and for any team with a top pick to pass him over could hurt that team’s reputation. Whereas it would seem likely the team who does draft him would bring in many homosexual fans that might otherwise have little interest in football.

If Sam is drafted, he wouldn’t be the only gay professional athlete. Jason Collins is currently playing in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets, although he didn’t admit to being gay until after he had already been a pro player for several years.

Sports Editor Connor Hajdasz, when asked how he would feel if Sam was drafted stated, “his sexuality doesn’t matter to me just as long as he makes tackles.”