When Mizzouri University’s Michael Sam announced he was openly gay last week, the immediate reaction sent waves throughout the NFL community. Sam projects to be between a third and fifth round draft choice and with his selection he will become the first openly gay NFL player. The community surrounding Sam has been outstanding showing enormous support for the SEC co-defensive player of the year.
One of Sam’s confidants expressed how it was a meticulous plan and necessary for the NFL. Mr Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of outsports.com and one of the biggest supporters of openly gay athletes, also talked about how he hopes the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions do not select Sam in the upcoming draft. Although Washington has large needs on the defensive line and linebacking core, Ziegler was quoted as saying,
“I pray to God he doesn’t end up on the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Jets or the Washington Redskins. I think those three teams – they have poor leadership, but most of the other teams in the NFL have guys – the coaching staff, the front office and locker room – who are equipped to deal with this.”
When scouting Sam, many Redskins fans believed the former Missouri Tiger would be a prime fit for Jim Haslett’s 3-4 scheme. With Zeigler’s recent comments, however, the entire Redskins franchise must tread lightly on the situation. After the 2013 debacle, Washington has been recognized as having a poor infrastructure, and the locker room cannot afford another distraction. The Redskins must handle the comments appropriately and avoid drafting Michael Sam. Although he is a great player, Washington is not ready to handle the drama that accompanies Sam.