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Michael Sam Still Faces Obstacles in NFL

The Dolphins fining safety Don Jones and excusing him from team activities for comments about Michael Sam on Twitter is a jolting reminder that the former Missouri defensive end enters a culture with certain archaic corners of it largely not accepting of him or his sexuality. Jones has since apologized for his response to Sam kissing his boyfriend after getting drafted. It obviously was jarring for many people like Jones, who were not ready for the public display of affection on national TV between two men. How do you explain this to your kids? Someone on Twitter nailed it perfectly and it was re-tweeted many times over. “You explain Michael Sam as a pass rushing specialist who plays on passing downs and tries to sack the QB.”

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He’s a football player folks. Look beyond his sexuality. It all makes his journey to get to this point all the more admirable considering what potentially lies ahead of him. Something tells me that insensitive tweets will likely be the tamer part of it. Wait until he gets to other stadiums, where the vitriol at times, can be toxic. However, he’s shown that he possesses the right attitude, downplaying the attention and reminding the world that he’s.. wait for it.. a football player! As well as he should.

He says this will only fuel him to be a better player and as it turns out, the Rams were the absolute right match for him. He’s nearby where he once starred in college, will be with a no-nonsense coach in Jeff Fisher and is part of a defense as a situational pass rusher. A very good defense we should add. He couldn’t have asked for a more ideal situation, although you have to wonder, now that we’re a few days removed from the draft, just how high he would have gone had he not announced he was gay. Roto World had him listed in the top 90 or so prospects before his announcement, but fell to 140 after it. You can blame it on his poor combine performance, his small stature at 6 foot 2 or his limited ability in coverage. All salable points that may prove to be stumbling blocks to a long and prosperous career. We’ll never know, but we know this. He’ll attack the quarterback just the way he’s attacked this whole thing.

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