The Essential Michael Sam

Following NFL draft prospect Michael Sam’s announcement about his sexual orientation (he’s gay) last weekend, many people wrote and said many stupid things. Many more, I hope and believe, wrote and said positive things. The reality, though, is that few of us knew Sam’s name a week ago, which is a little bit baffling when we found out he was the top defensive player in the top college football conference, perhaps the truest testament to the bandied axiom that this is the football age of offense. As a result, the other reality this week is that few people’s responsive comments have been insightful or of much consequence.

Thankfully, there have been exceptions. The first was the video SB Nation/KSK’s Matt Ufford made the day after Sam’s announcement:

The second was Jeb Lund’s intelligently written article for Sports on Earth, posted later that same day, which took aim at Sam’s critics with precision.

The other two items are the dispassionate scouting reports of SoE’s Russ Lande and MMQB’s Greg Bedard. Lande holds some optimism for Sam’s draft position, while Bedard is more cynical, even going so far as to write that Sam may not be drafted at all.

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One has to think that Sam has a better chance of playing in the NFL– whether a team takes him in the draft or offers him a chance as an undrafted free agent– than Jason Collins had of extending his NBA career following his own sexual orientation announcement. As those scouting reports imply, though, it likely will be impossible to know whether or how Sam’s announcement affects his draft outcome this May.

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