Michael Sam could slide down NFL draft after coming out, experts warn
时间：2019-09-15 责任编辑：公睛 来源：合乐888首页 点击：153 次
Michael Sam, a 24-year-old college football star who is on the cusp of becoming the first openly gay player in National Football League history after he came out on Sunday, could slide down in this year’s draft due to his announcement, experts and professionals in the game have warned.
Sam engaged in a round of interviews with the and on Sunday, in which he said he had decided to declare his sexuality ahead of the draft, which will be held in May, in order to pre-empt swirling rumours.
“I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it. I just want my own truth,” he said.
First lady Michelle Obama on Monday to laud Sam as an inspiration. “We couldn’t be prouder of your courage both on and off the field,” she wrote.
Should he be selected in the draft, or be signed as a free agent after it, Sam will not only become the first openly gay player in the country’s most popular professional league, but also an extremely rare example of an out professional sportsman in any of America’s major sports. There are currently no publicly gay players in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League.
An NBA player, , while contracted to the Washington Wizards. He has not played in the league this season. On Sunday .
Observers of, and participants in, the draft process are predicting that Sam’s draft position is certain to slide as a result of his declaration. If it does, he would stand to make less money in his rookie contract, and the team that selects him would likely be less invested in his future and more willing to release him if he does not produce at the desired level soon after turning pro. The predictions, coming from senior figures in the sport, run the risk of becoming self-fulfilling prophesies while underlining the challenges ahead for Sam in a world that remains at best macho in culture and at worst blatantly homophobic.
Eight NFL coaches and executives, speaking anonymously, that they expect to see a significant drop in Sam’s prospects in the draft.
“I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” one said, leading the magazine to conclude that the question now was not whether Sam would suffer as a result of his announcement, but how much.
Before Sam came out, NFLDraftScout.com had as the No90 prospect in the draft, a ranking that would have put him in the third of seven rounds. Within hours of Sam’s saying he was gay, the website had dropped him to 160th, though later on Monday it brought him back to 110th.
In an accompanying article, Rob Rang of CBS Sports said that it is the potential for Sam’s presence to be a distraction to a team, and not his sexual orientation itself, that could cause teams to shy away, : “Make no mistake … Michael Sam’s stock in the NFL draft began to drop because he announced he was gay … [W]hile NFL teams may be more willing to accept a gay player in 2014, there remains a bit of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy.”
Sam, a defensive end who is listed at 6ft 2in and 260lb, graduated from the University of Missouri in December. He was named the 2013 Associated Press defensive player of the year in the vaunted Southeastern Conference.
In the interview with the New York Times, he said he had made his announcement because he sensed that rumours were flying. Last month several scouts working for NFL teams had asked Sam’s agent whether the player had a girlfriend, the newspaper reported.
His first big test will be the showcase for NFL scouts which starts in Indianapolis on 22 February, the . “I’m not naïve. I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is. But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the NFL,” he said.
Sam’s declaration was greeted by an outpouring of praise. The NFL put out a statement saying: “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL.”
There were also expressions of support from his former Missouri teammates, whom he had told about his sexuality last year.
The team’s coach, Gary Pinkel, said in a statement: “Michael is a great example of just how important it is to be respectful of others, he’s taught a lot of people here firsthand that it doesn’t matter what your background is, or your personal orientation, we’re all on the same team and we all support each other.”