SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam made waves on Sunday with the revelation that he is a gay man. Entering the NFL Draft, he would become the first openly gay professional athlete in the United States among the major sports.
Since that revelation, there has been a lot of discussion everywhere about the effect that his coming out will have on his draft stock, on his future teammates and the league in general.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker and soon-to-be free agent Karlos Dansby was on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Monday and he was asked about it -- whether it would be a distraction and whether it would be tough for Sam in the NFL.
"It'll definitely be a distraction, without a doubt, because that's something you don't really even want to talk about," he answered. "You want to talk about football and making plays."
He said that answering questions about sexual preference isn't something players would want to do.
Likewise, he also said that, because of the nature and history of the game, as well as what goes on in locker rooms, Dansby "it'll be real hard" on Sam once he is a pro.
Now, to be clear, we must frame what he said. The distractions he referred to were not ones about players themselves being distracted, but rather the part of having to answer questions from the media. Because Sam is the first to come out, the questions will follow him week after week.
But, to me, it sounds like an annoyance for the teammates that they would get asked about Sam, and not about the plays he makes on the field.
Will Sam be a distraction? Certainly, at least to start. But the questions would die down and then it would just be about football. As for the actual locker room, that is a different story. Some players would have an issue, but, then again, once the media asks every week.
What if Sam were a Cardinal? Do you see it as a possible distraction? Would the issue linger more than a week or two? Discuss it.
- Will 2014 be Larry Fitzgerald's last with Arizona Cardinals?
- 2014 NFL mock draft: Teddy Bridgewater goes 1st, Cardinals land TE Ebron
- What happened to Eric Winston in 2013?
- Arizona Cardinals 2013 film review: Rookie's mistake leads to Larry Fitzgerald concussion
- Arizona Cardinals injured players on track with rehabilitation