IRVING – After being released over the weekend by the St. Louis Rams, DE Michael Sam was in need of a new opportunity. Days later, the first openly gay player in NFL history found that opportunity in Dallas.
The Dallas Cowboys officially signed Sam to their practice squad on Thursday. Ordinarily, the signing of a practice squad player doesn’t bring this much media scrutiny. In this case it shouldn’t, either. This is just a kid wanting to play football.
Sam, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was thought to be too small and too slow for the NFL. However, he has shown signs of being able to offer an added pass rush, something the Cowboys desperately need.
A lot of teams were weary of Sam, not because of his sexual orientation or abilities, but because of the “TMZ” like atmosphere that comes with him. We saw a prime example of this in St. Louis, when a major sports media outlet sought not to cover his practice reps or weight regimen, but his showering habits. This was as disgusting as it was ignorant.
Roughly 3% of the American population describes themselves as gay or lesbian. So by playing a numbers game alone, there is at least one gay player on every team in the NFL. So chances are, this isn’t the first time an NFL player has showered with a gay man.
Regardless of what some may think, Dallas is the perfect fit right now for Sam. The media lights are always glaring at Valley Ranch, so the circus atmosphere shouldn’t be an added distraction.
Sam deserves a chance to play. He will get that in Dallas. It’s a matter of when and not if. This defense is already in shambles before the regular season starts. With DE Anthony Spencer not ready for action coming from a knee injury and DE George Selvie banged up, the Cowboys need all the help they can get.
Further, if Sam can’t make it here with this defense, chances are he can’t make it anywhere. This may be his last opportunity to play in the NFL.
So let’s just let him play.
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