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By:  Staff Writer Sadelle Vespoli

Football star Michael Sam of the University of Missouri has been under major athletic scrutiny the past month. After announcing he is gay on February 9, two weeks before the Scouting Combine, there has been nothing but buzz surrounding the NFL. Although there is widespread positive support among fellow players, the controversy stems from higher NFL executives. According to a recent Sports Illustrated interview, one anonymous coach simply stated that “the NFL just wasn’t ready for an openly gay football player.”  Other scouts and coaches have countered that claim saying Michael Sam’s stats are unimpressive to begin with which proves to be true. At the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Sam demonstrated record low drill performances and below average endurance skills.

After dropping from an expectant first round pick to a seventh round pick one can’t help to wonder if revealing his sexuality was just bad timing or an attack from the homophobic. Coaches and team scouts, who are part of the drafting process, have used the constant media presence surrounding Sam as a scapegoat. Many believe drafting the defensive lineman will only bring harm to NFL with too many media distractions, as if that is something new to the sport.  If the NFL recruits Michael Sam they will have made history and if they don’t, they will have to explain to an onslaught of angry gay rights activists of why he was not picked. Was Sam’s timing harmful or actually a smart premeditated move? That question is still up for debate as this rising player proves to not be the big fish in the small pond. Hopefully the NFL can make an unbiased decision and continue to support the sport itself and not just the player’s sexuality.