Michael Sam, after being cut by the St. Louis Rams last week, is finding support in places outside of the NFL, whether he wants it or not. More than one organization has reached out for an appearance and possible contract signing with the discarded defensive end, as his NFL career appears to be in a rut. Those that are still focused on his cut from the Rams are pointing fingers around the league to find real reasons for the move, despite Coach Jeff Fisher’s assurance that Sam being cut was “a football move.”
From the stands in left field, Michael Sam has found support from an outside company that only has a slim connection to the NFL. Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) extended an invitation on their live Monday Night RAW program for the free agent to appear on their show next week. He has been offered a spot in the ring and an “open-mic,” insinuating he could say anything he wants over the WWE airwaves, including tell his side of the story. Monday Night RAW would be broadcast from Baltimore that night in front of a live audience.
Sam also has suitors coming from north of the border attempting to lure his football career to a different league. The Montreal Alouettes acquired his rights for the Canadian Football League (CFL) and have attempted to contact him, according to multiple sources. He would not be the first to make that northern trek after playing in the NFL. Other players such as Chad Johnson, Ricky Williams, Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia played multiple seasons on their respective teams before taking to the CFL, with a couple of these names playing for the same Canadian team that is coveting Sam now.
Some from inside the National Football League are pointing to media as the reason for the NFL’s first openly gay player’s dismissal from his team. A tweet was sent out by analyst Ross Tucker that pointed out how Sam outperformed expectations, then the tweet questioned why he was not on the practice squad. Eric Wood, a Center for the Buffalo Bills, responded to that statement by saying “Blame that on ESPN.” He concluded by pointing out “no one wants the distraction,” aiming blame towards the erroneous reports the sports empire covered that centered around the gay player’s showering habits. ESPN has apologized for the report and teammates had come to Sam’s defense, one tweeting a short letter to the company saying “everyone is over it but you.”
Michael Sam is finding support outside the NFL because he seems to have been let go by the league itself. He was cut this past weekend due to “football reasons,” according to Jeff Fisher, who said he was “rooting” for Sam to make the roster. Fisher pointed out that the Rams defensive line is amongst the “strongest areas” of the team, making Sam’s journey that much more difficult. He was then not among the 10 players named to the team practice squad, most of which were offensive players, with two safeties and one defensive tackle, Matt Conrath, being exceptions. That cascading effect started this outpouring of support from places and people Michael Sam probably never expected.
Commentary by Myles Gann