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Sports Illustrated: ‘America is ready for Michael Sam… Is the NFL?’

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Michael Sam, the Associated Press’ SEC Defensive Player of the Year from Missouri, who came out as gay on Sunday and could become the first openly NFL player, graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, which asks, “Is the NFL ready” for an openly gay player?

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated

While several teams and coaches said Monday that Sam’s sexual orientation wouldn’t affect his draft status, former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, who contends his championing of gay rights led to his release from the Minnesota Vikings last year, wasn’t so sure.

“The majority of players will be supportive of Michael Sam or just won’t care,” Kluwe told the Associated Press. “You’ll have isolated guys here and there who might try to make a fuss about it, but players by and large are very much, ‘Hey, we’re here to do a job, we’re here to go out and play football.’

“In terms of the coaching/front office side, I think there’s where issues are going to arise because they are going to look at this like, ‘Hey, is this going to cause a distraction for the team?’ And by distraction, they mean, ‘We’re not really OK with having a gay player on our team, we can’t come out and say that, so we’re going to use the word distraction,’” Kluwe added.

“And unfortunately, those are the people who determine if you’re employed or not,” he said.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. This is amazing and I’m gay also! Well I want to be a transgender!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:15pm
  2. Kluwe is right on target. The front offices need to start listening to their players.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:17pm
  3. Now we need soccer players to start coming out.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:28pm
  4. MRU is raising the rainbow flag! #FlyTheFlagMRU
    How about all other universities & colleges across Canada?!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:30pm
  5. YES!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:31pm
  6. Let’s hope so – he’s a great player

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:43pm
  7. Not according to the anonymous sources.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:47pm
  8. get over it NFL

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:06pm
  9. If he’s one hell of a player then yes, but poor kid I don’t think anyone will pick him up :(
    Women in sports come out all the time and other women are ok with it (shows you how more evolved we are!) but men not so much they need to start thinking differently, Stop looking at him as a Gay Man, look at him as a MAN!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:18pm
  10. The Green Bay Packers are!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:28pm
  11. GREEN BAY WANTS HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:28pm
  12. Screw America! Own it like a Boss!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:29pm
  13. If the NFL isn’t, then the LGBT community needs to boycott all NFL merchandise, games, and as the business it truly is….

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:38pm
  14. They better be or I’ll personally kick. Their asses

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 12:59am
  15. Sam I am!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:00am
  16. NBL still welcome to gay players !

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:04am
  17. yes he is

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:11am
  18. Good for you. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:28am
  19. Go Michael, Go Michael, Go Michael, Go !!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 3:37am
  20. my God, he is gay – big deal – NFL grow up!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 3:51am
  21. The only questions SHOULD BE: Is the opposing team’s offense ready for him!! Period.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 4:39am
  22. Indianapolis will draft him, a family setting.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 5:00am
  23. Yeaaaaaaaa

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:17am
  24. It was a nice article in the Sports Illustrated. It is going to take someone who confident about who they are, like Michael Sam, to take the risk and test the NFL.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10:39am
  25. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with their athleticism!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10:43am
  26. They better get ready!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 12:17pm
  27. There have been plenty of gay men and woman in sports for as long as sports have been around, he just had the balls to not hide who he is… And straight player need not to flatter themselves thinking that all gay people want them..

    Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 3:32pm