Following Jon Gruden’s homophobic and racist comments in emails this week, the first openly gay NFL player to be drafted, Michael Sam, has opened up about what Gruden has said.
Sam spoke to Augustana College (Illinois) at a seminar on Wednesday and was asked about Gruden’s emails.
“It’s unfortunate, especially that the first active gay player to play is on the same team,” Sam said via USA Today.
Gruden targeted Sam directly in one of his emails, indirectly calling Sam a “q-r” to NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams after his Missouri career, and Gruden called out Goddell for pressuring the Rams to draft Sam.
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Former Rams coach Jeff Fisher responded to Gruden’s comments on Tuesday about pressure on the Rams to write Sam. Fisher said Goddell never forced the team to write it; they drafted Sam because of his talent.
MORE: Jeff Fisher dismisses Jon Gruden’s claim that the NFL pressured Rams to draft Michael Sam
The first active gay player in NFL history, Carl Nassib, plays for the Raiders. When Nassib revealed his homosexuality in June, Gruden and the Raiders appeared to support him. However, Sam now views this with skepticism.
“So it almost seems like you know how the whole team would come together (Nassib), but then again, it almost seems like it was just for the show. So, are you really a part of it, or not? Sam said. “It’s going in that direction (of acceptance), so if you’re not in it, you’ve got to find another trade.” ”
“Yeah, Carl took over and now he’s carrying it and it’s a weight on my shoulders.” I feel like I’ve done my part and now I just have to sit on the sidelines and cheer him on. ” pic.twitter.com/UTsE5vRP3Q
– Michael Sam (@ MichaelSam52) October 3, 2021
Nassib took a personal day off on Wednesday and skipped practice due to all the news about Gruden.
MORE: Randy Moss Offers Emotional Response To Raiders’ Racist Comment From Jon Gruden
Although Sam never played on an active NFL roster (he played on the St. Louis and Dallas practice teams in 2014), he has become an inspiration to locked up football players. Across the country. Sam admitted that there are still a lot of closed players in the league “struggling … and can’t get out”.