Missouri star defensive end Michael Sam announced that he's gay Sunday night. And, since then, the internet has been buzzing about what this could potentially do to the NFL once Sam, who is the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, is drafted in April.
For the most part, players have Tweeted out their support to Sam and are ready to welcome him into the league. Others have anonymously said an openly gay player would be a distraction to some teams -- particularly teams that don't seem to be ready to accept a gay player.
According to Sam's college head coach, one of those teams is probably the Miami Dolphins.
Tigers coach Gary Pinkel singled out the Dolphins as a ream that Sam would likely have a hard time with, most notably because of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin fiasco that has engulfed this team over the past year.
Pinkel appeared on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike and said that the Fins' locker-room culture could be "destructive" to someone like Sam.
"I think the incident that happened down in Miami with the Dolphins -- I don't know the people involved there, and I'm not really judging them, but when you have a locker-room atmosphere like that, when people are verbally being destructive to each other and you call it fun, I think there's a fine line there," Pinkel said.
Pinkel went on to say how locker rooms with bad environments, where there is a lack of leadership, hurts players and the team.
"I'm not one of the righteous brothers here," Pinkel continued. "But we talk to our team all the time about how locker rooms are great in sports, locker rooms are awesome. It's a great thing about being a member of the team. Guys like to bust each other, go after each other verbally. But there's a certain point when what you say is hurtful and it doesn't help the team; it hurts the team. If you have that kind of environment where people say anything they want and say mean, awful, berating things to people, it probably will not work very well. But if you have a team that respects one another -- I may be naive, that's what we try to do."
Meanwhile, at least one Dolphins players has been supportive of Sam on Twitter -- if you count "indifference" as "supportive."
I've never really understood the big deal about knowing someone's sexual preference. I don't care.
— Brent Grimes (@BGrimey21) February 10, 2014
For whatever it's worth, wide receiver Brian Hartline retweeted Grimes. So we're assuming he too doesn't care?
Who else openly supported Sam?
Why, both Incognito and Martin, who showed their support to the man via the Twitters.
Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts #respect
— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) February 10, 2014
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 10, 2014
Irony must taste like sandpaper condoms.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.