in the middle Many shocking and cheesy excerpts From John Gruden’s email The New York Times revealed on Monday A homophobic term was used when referring to the then St. Louis Rams’ decision to select Michael Sams—an openly gay defensive end—in the 2014 NFL draft.
Gruden’s claim that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pressured the Rams to draft Sam was challenged by Jeff Fischer, the team’s coach at the time.
“Michael Sam was the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and we selected him in the 2014 NFL Draft based on his defensive output and on-field rushing skills,” Fischer wrote in a Twitter post. “As a head coach for more than 20 years, we drafted players on the basis of various qualities whether or not they were drafted. Their sexual orientation will never – and never will – play a part in the decision-making process.
“I continue to support Michael, and support his decision to come out as the first draft openly gay player in the league. To serve as a role model for those competitive football players It takes courage to be gay.
“Finally, the NFL never encouraged or discouraged me with regard to the selection of a potential prospect.”
Sam was a seventh-round pick, No. 249 overall from Missouri. He was among the final cuts as the Rams trimmed their roster to a 53-player limit ahead of the 2014 season. After a stint in the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad and a short time in the Canadian Football League, Sam officially stepped away from professional football in August 2015.
Gruden’s complaint about Ram’s drafting Sam was also noteworthy that Monday. national coming out day. Later New York Times story Posted, a fan tweeted to thank Sam for being a role model. Sam replied with his gratitude.
Gruden resigned Monday night After the New York Times report became public. Longtime NFL Assistant Coach Rich Bisakia will be the interim head coach of the Raiders.