So Michael Sam, Missouri’s SEC Defensive player of the year, has come out as gay right before the NFL combine. As usual, there’s the concern, not as much about whether he can play, but whether he’s worth the “distraction” of the extra media attention.
As I said when I was writing about Davone Bess, it’s only a distraction if you don’t have the leadership in place to prevent it from becoming a distraction.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Donte Stallworth, retired NFL receiver, has said very much the same thing, comparing what happened in Miami this year, with poor leadership, with what happened in New England, where you clearly have strong leadership.
The bottom line is that coming out will probably hurt Sam in the draft, not because his sexual preference, but because there are far too many teams with poor leadership. The kind that will not be able to keep this from being a distraction. You’ll also see that those same teams are the ones looking for yet another new coach in the next year or two, make dumb trades, have high draft pick busts, etc. (I’m looking at you Cleveland….)
Hopefully, Sam gets an opportunity to prove himself, on a team with real leadership.