You know, there are times where Think Progress is dead-to-rights correct on certain things…and then there are times where they’re dead-to-rights wrong on certain things. Case in point: Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams earlier today, becoming the first openly gay athlete to be drafted by any one of the four major North American sports leagues. On the one hand, Think Progress was correct in asking how Sam, who had been expected to go between the 3rd-5th rounds of the NFL Draft, could fall down to the 7th round and for what it’s worth, there are legitimate concerns as to how well Sam will adapt to the pro game as opposed to the collegiate game…
Now that Sam has been drafted, he will move onto the next challenge of securing a spot on the roster. He’ll need to make the team over the summer to become the first openly gay player actively in the NFL, and his spot isn’t guaranteed. As Alex Leichenger previously pointed out here on ThinkProgress, “Sam is considered undersized for an NFL defensive end and may have to become a linebacker in the pros…. His pass-rushing ability would be an advantage at outside linebacker, but there will be questions about whether he has the speed to play in pass coverage in the NFL.” Sam also had a fairly bad showing at the scouting combine earlier this year.(Think Progress)
On the other hand, though, why the cheap shots towards other NFL draftees – namely, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and Notre Dame’s Prince Shembo? Do we no longer give second chances to people depending on what crimes they may have – or in Shembo’s case, alleged to have – committed in the past or is it to whoever is the proverbial social flavor of the month?
To be fair, we should, by all means, congratulate Michael Sam on being drafted and wish him a successful career in the NFL…I just wish, in the zeal to do so, certain groups didn’t decide to take cheap shots at other NFL draftees while they’re at it.