Michael Sam drafted in seventh round by Rams

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NEW YORK— Michael Sam was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team.

Sam  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sam

Sam played at Missouri, and came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season. He went on to have the best season of his career: He was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

“Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every once of this to achieve greatness!!” Sam tweeted with a frenzied typo moments after he was picked, including a picture of himself wearing a Rams cap and a pink polo shirt.

The pick came after several rounds of suspense. The first round of the day came and went, no Sam. Then the second, and the third, and finally, the day was down to just a handful of picks.

When Mike Kensil, the NFL’s vice president of game operations, walked to the podium at Radio City Music Hall in the draft’s final minutes to announce the Rams’ second-to-last pick, the crowd got a sense something was up. Very few of the last day picks were announced at the podium. Twitter lit up with suggestions the Rams were about to make news.

Sam was in San Diego watching with friends and family at the home of his agent, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes. ESPN and the NFL Network had cameras there and showed Sam’s reaction.

Sam was on the phone bending over, with his boyfriend hugging him and rubbing his left bicep. When Sam got off the phone, the tears started. He gave his boyfriend a big kiss and a long hug as he cried and his eyes reddened.

Sam will start his professional career not far from the place where he played his college ball, with three former Missouri teammates.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Sam was considered a mid-to-late round pick, far from a sure thing to be drafted. He played defensive end in college, but he’s short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position he’ll need to transition to at the professional level.

He was taken with the 249th overall pick out of 256.

Players from Marist, Maine and McGill University in Canada were slected before Sam.

“In the world of diversity we live in now, I’m honored to be a part of this,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said during an interview on ESPN.

The impact of Sam’s selection goes far beyond football. At a time when gay marriage is gaining acceptance among Americans, Sam’s entry into the NFL is a huge step toward the integration of gay men into professional team sports. Pro sports have in many ways lagged behind the rest of society in acceptance.

Publicly, most people in and related to the NFL have been supportive of Sam. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said Sam would be welcome in the league and judged solely on his ability to play. A few wondered whether teams would be reluctant to draft Sam because of all the media attention that would come with it.

Fair or not, the NFL - coming off a season in which a bullying scandal involving players on the Miami Dolphins was one of the biggest stories in sports - was looking at a possible public relations hit if Sam was not drafted. He would likely have been signed as a free agent and given a chance to make a team in training camp, but to many it would have looked as if he was being rejected.

Now that he’s there, it could be seen as an opportunity for the NFL to show that crass locker room culture is not as prevalent as it might have looked to those who followed the embarrassing Dolphins scandal.

Comments (23) Add comment
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GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 05/10/14 - 07:41 pm
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How am I going to explain to

How am I going to explain to my grandchildren that if they work hard they can live their dreams no matter who they love?

Pops
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Pops 05/10/14 - 08:20 pm
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"He played defensive end in college,

but he’s short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position he’ll need to transition to at the professional level."

If and when he washes out and not able to make the grade, the Rams will bee accused of being a team run by a bunch of bigots......well played Mr. Sam........

mosovich
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mosovich 05/10/14 - 08:43 pm
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If they can do the job...

If they can do the job and do a good job at it, why does it matter who they love? It's about the JOB, not the person's personal life..

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 05/10/14 - 09:40 pm
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If anyone saw Sam's reaction

If anyone saw Sam's reaction to being chosen, you should understand why many people become disgusted with the "in your face" attitude gays have. ESPN showed Sam playfully shoving a piece of cake in his lover's face, and then bending over and planting a long kiss on him...and then kissing him again a moment later. Being "openly gay" doesn't have to mean flaunting your lifestyle in a manner that makes others uncomfortable. People would also be uncomfortable if a Christian were to yell "Praise God!" and "You're going to hell for that!".

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 05/10/14 - 10:08 pm
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If he can deliver on the

If he can deliver on the football field, who gives a damn? Just stop the posturing from both sides. Be judged by your abilities.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 05/10/14 - 11:01 pm
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I read things like, "I'm glad

I read things like, "I'm glad my son wasn't there to see that," and I conclude, "Because I'm no good at explaining things."

Sam's being drafted by the Rams will cause no consternation whatsoever among Augusta Chronicle readers. They will handle it with usual zen-like equanimity.

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 03:47 am
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Yes, I was stunned, Just My

Yes, I was stunned, Just My Opinion. I've never seen a straight couple kiss on television before. Can you imagine the outrage if that ever happened? A man and a woman, kissing on TV? What a disgusting, "in your face" attitude that would demonstrate. If only the gays could just be like the straights and never flaunt their affection in public. The straights are robotic in their control over emotions in public -- in my 40+ years I've never seen any straights holding hands, hugging, or kissing in public. What is wrong with those gays, Just My Opinion?

edcushman
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edcushman 05/11/14 - 06:56 am
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burn, Straight guys find a
Unpublished

burn, Straight guys find a guy kissing a another guy disgusting, even though some won't admit because of PC . You can like it or not, it don't matter.

deestafford
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deestafford 05/11/14 - 02:11 pm
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It was a disgusting display of deviant behavior...

It was a disgusting display of deviant behavior and just goes to show how many people are willing to dumb deviance down. Thousands of years of nonacceptance of homosexual behavior as "normal" cannot be wrong.

Any sympathy he may have had disappeared with this in-your-face display. It is typical of militant homosexuals who want the world to think they are "normal". His selection will cause problems for the Rams.

Being in LA the homeland of homosexuals is the best place for him if he is to be anywhere. However, don't bet on a great season from the Rams because of all the distractions both in the locker room and from the media circus.

I forgot that LA no longer has a pro football team. The rest of the comment is still valid.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/11/14 - 08:37 am
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Ah Dee

Sorry, the Rams left L.A. a long time ago (1994). St. Louis is their home now.

freeradical
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freeradical 05/11/14 - 08:56 am
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NFL HIV testing

Male homosexuals are the largest per capita carriers of HIV on the

planet .

Among other diseases .

So much so that blood donation centers will not accept blood from

any male who has engaged in homosexual activity .

Blood centers do not judge .

They deal in scientifically proven facts .

Given the amount of open wounds , bleeding , etc,etc, that takes

place on the football field it is quite telling to me that the issue of

blood to blood contact , the NFL's stance on it where homosexuals

and their per capita infection rates with regard to testing is concerned is not mentioned once

in this article nor in any article I have read about this guy so far .

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 05/11/14 - 09:02 am
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JMO

I felt the same way -

seenitB4
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seenitB4 05/11/14 - 10:10 am
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I don't care who lover is BUT

I can see problems in the locker room with this...time will tell.

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 02:36 pm
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"burn, Straight guys find a

"burn, Straight guys find a guy kissing a another guy disgusting, even though some won't admit because of PC ."
------
Ed, that's social conditioning. Children don't know there's a "correct" type of kissing until they've been conditioned to have that response.

Social conditioning is not impossible to overcome. I'm a straight guy, I had a hard time seeing men kissing a few years ago, but I've gotten over the shock. It's no different than the disgust people used to have over seeing an interracial couple kiss. People that value love and equality get over it, while people that value bigotry cling to it.

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 02:38 pm
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0
.

.

burninater
9680
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burninater 05/11/14 - 02:49 pm
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"Thousands of years of

"Thousands of years of nonacceptance of homosexual behavior as "normal" cannot be wrong."
-------
Thousands of years of human slavery was wrong.

Thousands of years of thinking chicken pox was demons was wrong.

Thousands of years of a flat Earth was wrong.

Thousands of years of treating women as property was wrong.

We could go on all day, listing the types of ignorance and evil that humanity thought were okay for thousands of years.

edcushman
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edcushman 05/11/14 - 03:40 pm
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"Ed, that's social
Unpublished

"Ed, that's social conditioning."
burn, no it is perverted. If you are ok with perversion that is fine with me, to each his own.

edcushman
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edcushman 05/11/14 - 03:45 pm
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" I'm a straight guy, I had a
Unpublished

" I'm a straight guy, I had a hard time seeing men kissing a few years ago, but I've gotten over the shock. It's no different than the disgust people used to have over seeing an interracial couple kiss."
burn, if you cannot see the difference it is a waste of my time having a discussio with you.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/11/14 - 03:51 pm
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I think freeradical brings up

I think freeradical brings up a good point. With the number of injuries and possibility of HIV virus transmission, what's going to happen the first time a "straight" player gets infected during a game or practice? with the NFL be sued?

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 03:56 pm
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"burn, no it is perverted. If

"burn, no it is perverted. If you are ok with perversion that is fine with me, to each his own."

"'It's no different than the disgust people used to have over seeing an interracial couple kiss.'
burn, if you cannot see the difference it is a waste of my time having a discussio with you."
--------
Folks used to view interracial couples as "a perversion" as well. They even had scripture to support their bigotry.

I know what the differences are, ed -- but more importantly, I know what the similarities are.

In both cases, people used social conditioning to justify bullying, shaming, and isolating specific individuals. They even tried to implicate religious or traditional authority in attempts to justify their behavior. It's an old story, and folks that try to pretend that this newest version is somehow different are repeating the tired protestations of history's forgotten old bigotries.

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 03:59 pm
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ICL, you know that being gay

ICL, you know that being gay doesn't mean you have HIV.

And you also know that straight people can have HIV too, right?

So how is freeradical's point even a point?

edcushman
7930
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edcushman 05/11/14 - 04:34 pm
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"So how is freeradical's
Unpublished

"So how is freeradical's point even a point?"
burn, it is obvious you have a very hard time getting the 'point'.
freeradical's point was that "Male homosexuals are the largest per capita carriers of HIV on the
planet" by a very large margin.

burninater
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burninater 05/11/14 - 05:07 pm
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"burn, it is obvious you have

"burn, it is obvious you have a very hard time getting the 'point'."
-----
I understand that you THINK this is a point, but it isn't. This 'point' is based on a fundamental ignorance of HIV transmission.

"Measurements and Main Results: One thousand three hundred and forty-four clinical health care workers reported 179 percutaneous and 346 mucous membrane exposures to fluids from HIV-1-infected patients during a 6-year period. Responding to a supplementary questionnaire, 559 of these workers reported 2712 cutaneous exposures to blood from HIV-1-infected patients and more than 10 000 cutaneous exposures to blood from all patients during a 12-month period. Occupational transmission of HIV-1 occurred in a single worker after a parenteral exposure to blood from an HIV-1-infected patient. No infections occurred after either mucous membrane or cutaneous exposures to blood from HIV-1-infected patients. Use of newer diagnostic technologies (for example, antigen detection, gene amplification) has not resulted in the identification of occupationally transmitted seronegative infections."

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=704237

What does that mean? In 2712 exposures to HIV-infected blood of the kind that would occur in a contact sport, NOT ONE case of transmission occurred. The ONLY case of transmission in 10,000 incidents of blood exposure was a parenteral exposure, i.e. an injection.

So unless these players intend to share needles with an HIV-infected teammate -- gay or straight -- you have no 'point' to get.

harley_52
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harley_52 05/11/14 - 07:25 pm
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It's An Agenda Thing....

...just like the big push to have homosexuals infect the Armed Forces. The Boy Scouts. Industry. The sanctity of "marriage." Now it's the NFL. Next week....who knows?

Bit by bit, inch by inch, the agenda says homosexuality must become "normal" and mainstream. That's what kids are taught in public schools these days. If you're a parent and you believe that homosexuality is sinful, deviant behavior, prepare to be viewed by the media and the left as some kind of disgusting, ignorant, bigoted fool who should be shunned, ridiculed, and punished.

Homosexuals represent less than five percent of the population. Homosexuality is NOT normal. It is deviant from normal by definition. The U.S. military is weakened, the NFL will become a zoo, and society, as a whole, takes another step backwards.

stuaby
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stuaby 05/11/14 - 07:16 pm
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1. What's going to be said if

1. What's going to be said if doesn't make the squad?
2. I wish could read the minds of the Rams running backs and tight ends as they think ahead to training camp. Linebacker was my position in school. Your hands go everywhere trying to get a ball carrier down to the ground.
3. Given the above, look for 200+ yds rushing from Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch and other NFC west RB's if this guy's in the line-up.

edcushman
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edcushman 05/11/14 - 07:17 pm
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'Folks used to view
Unpublished

'Folks used to view interracial couples as "a perversion" as well.'
burn, your comparison of interracial couples to homosexuality is an insult to all races. Have a nice evening.

freeradical
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freeradical 05/11/14 - 09:53 pm
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BurnantorThe CDC is not "ignorant "

The CDC is not ignorant about HIV and neither are blood donation

centers .

Unlike you they deal in facts not political agenda .

That is why they reject homosexual participants .

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 05/12/14 - 08:52 am
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Social conditioning?

I don't think so Burn. I consider myself to be pretty tolerant and understanding on homosexual issues; but the physical part of it is still disgusting to me. I think it is a natural response for straights, with the acceptance of such to be social conditioning.

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