Michael Sam is Gay. In interviews with ESPN and the New York Times, Sam declared "I am an openly proud, gay man." Sam is a defensive end from the University of Missouri entering the NFL Draft. He says that most people who knew him were not surprised when he came out to them recently. Coaches, teammates and even his parents all seemed to know prior to his official word.
Sam is a 6'2", 255-pound beast who will be drafted as an outside linebacker specializing in rushing the passer. He led the SEC this year with 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. A premiere defensive end, he was also named First-Team All-SEC and First-Team All-American.Mike McCarthy strikes me as a man that will accept that Michael Sam is gay.
The question now becomes: what GM and Head Coach will be ready to add Sam to their locker room? Regardless of the fact that Michael Sam is gay, he has the potential to quickly add to a 3-4 defense, which narrows down the targets. It would ideally be a team in a small market. A media circus will follow Sam wherever he goes, but a team with more coverage will likely have more distractions than a smaller-market team. This is where the Green Bay Packers fit in.
Green Bay is one of the smallest markets in the NFL, allowing for Sam (and the team) to concentrate on football instead of answering questions on the state of the locker room. The Packers are a 3-4 defense in need of outside linebacker depth. Earlier this season, they saw trouble with pass rushing when Clay Matthews and Nick Perry were injured. Players there have a team-first attitude, and when selfishness shines through, the organization is prompt to act and typically get rid of the player (see Javon Walker and Mike McKenzie).
Thanks to Sam's relentless pursuit of the quarterback, he will become the first openly gay NFL player. He should be applauded for his courage and pride. Michael Sam is gay and proud of it. It will take a prideful organization to draft him. It will take a fan base willing to open its arms and accept him. What better place than the home of the Lambeau Leap?