Where will Michael Sam, the first openly gay Division I college football star end up getting drafted? Will his coming out affect his NFL Draft stock?
Hopefully, we’ll reach a point some day where an NFL player being openly gay is not a news-story. Hopefully, we’ll reach a level of acceptance and tolerance in our society where it’s a non-issue. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.
Here to break down the NFL Draft stock of Michael Sam is ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. and Chicago Bears Tight End Martellus Bennett.
“Michael Sam I think more third to fourth round, I think more as a pass rusher than as a down defensive end,” said Kiper on media conference call a day before Michael Sam made his historic announcement.
I’ve seen Sam as high as early 3rd round to late 2nd round in some mocks, but there has been concern that his announcement might be a distraction. At least, that’s what SI’s Peter King tweeted, saying anonymous league sources believe Sam, and the media circus that will inevitably surround him, will be a hindrance to his future NFL employer. SI did not one, but two pieces on this very topic, and Sam dropped 20 places overnight on the CBS NFL Draft prospect list.
I don’t buy that. Neither does Bennett.
I caught up to the Bears star at the Comcast Sports Award in Chicago Monday night. Bennett was honored as Chicago Bear of the year.
“They’ll say all kinds of things about you to affect your draft stock. If they can get you for cheaper they will. They told me I was crazy when I came out and it affected my draft stock,” said Bennett, a.k.a. Martysaurus Rex.
“They probably still think I’m crazy to this day,”said the Orange Dino, the Bears offensive weapon with many nicknames.
Bennett was asked if the NFL locker room would be accepting of an openly gay player:
“I can’t look through other people’s eyes, I just know what I think and for me, and my teammates the kind of guys I’m around I think they are,” he responded.
— Zach Paul (@WeatherZach) February 10, 2014
Martellus Bennett is the best soundbite on the Bears, and one of the best soundbites in the NFL. Here, he opines more on Michael Sam and what his announcement means to the NFL
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks