Oakland Raiders: Weekly Rant Column: Michael Sam


Aug 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) looks on prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although this is primarily an Oakland Raiders information and news site, some of the topics discussed may be directed elsewhere. Either at the NFL or NFLPA, depending on whether or not the topic deems itself worthy. As always, I am a Raiders fan/writer first and foremost.

I just about fell out of my chair last night when I saw this piece by Peter King (SI.com/MMQB, and Sports Analyst for NBC). We all know the story behind Defensive End Michael Sam who was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and then released.  King reported the following:

According to NBC’s Peter King and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, NFL officials called teams around the league to gauge interest in signing Michael Sam to their  practice squad.

"“The Rams waived Michael Sam, the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster, he was unemployed for two days,” King said. “During that time a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player.”"

“Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.”

This report, that is surely to upset other players vying for NFL practice squads around the league, was initially reported by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on yesterday’s edition of “First Take.”

"“According to sources I have in the NFL, the league did call a few teams. They did want teams to take Michael Sam because obviously we see what kind of movement they’re gearing for, and what they’re support of Michael Sam, who we all know, came out, acknowledged he was gay before the draft and ultimately something Roger Goodell and the NFL supports and they want their teams to support. But other teams weren’t too receptive to taking him on once the St. Louis Rams cut him,” reported the ESPN talking head.“So in steps, Jerry Jones coming to the aid of the NFL and making a splash with his willingness to bring this guy on board to the practice squad.”"


Are you kidding me!  Last time I checked, an NFL player is who deems themselves worthy of an NFL Roster Spot, not NFL officials.  Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.  So now the NFL (Roger Goodell’s minions) will sway NFL Team Owner’s into signing certain players in order to gain or avoid good or unwanted publicity?  What about the player who is talented enough to earn his roster spot?  Is he now going to have to worry about whether or not a “Publicity Stunt” will take away his chances of becoming an NFL star?  

This really gets my goat.  Look, I’m all for equality and acceptance in all aspects of life, but this is not the way to go about things. There’s a fine line, and the NFL just crossed it. Luckily, the great (with sarcasm of course) Jerry Jones stepped in and saved the NFL’s rear end by signing him to the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.

Can we just let the young man earn his spot without it being about his sexual orientation. I’m so sick of hearing reports about Michael Sam that drop the “Openly Gay” tag on him every chance they get. Yes, Michael Sam is homosexual, so what.  Can he be a formidable football player/pass rusher? That remains to be seen. He had a very decent college career, and now it’s time to see if he can be an NFL player. Leave the rest alone.