If Michael Sam Goes Undrafted, NFL Might Have a Public-Relations Problem on its Hands

If Michael Sam Goes Undrafted, NFL Might Have a Public-Relations Problem on its Hands

In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, Missouri's Michael Sam (52) sings the school song after Missouri defeated Indiana in an NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind. The All-American athlete says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, Missouri’s Michael Sam (52) sings the school song after Missouri defeated Indiana in an NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind. The All-American athlete says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

 

(Washington Post) – Michael Sam, the openly gay NFL draft prospect, spent a few days this week in New York. It was mostly a social visit, his friend and former NFL player Wade Davis said, but of course the topic was raised about being so close to where his future will be decided.

The possibilities are vast before the draft begins Thursday at Radio City Music Hall, and so are the talking points. Sam, projected in February as a third-round pick, dropped 70 slots in one projection only a few hours after coming out as gay. After a poor NFL scouting combine, a slightly better pro day at the University of Missouri, and months of criticism about Sam’s athletic deficiencies, it’s possible the pass rusher spends three days waiting for a call that never comes.

If that happens, Davis said, the perception won’t be that it was because of Sam’s ability.

“The NFL kind of has no win in this situation,” said Davis, who himself came out after his NFL career ended and is now a gay-rights activist. “Because if he doesn’t get drafted, it’s going to be positioned that he didn’t get drafted because he’s gay.”

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