Nation & World News

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

By Scott Neuman on August 30th, 2014

Update at 6 p.m. ET

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted to an NFL team, has been released by the St. Louis Rams, the team has announced.

ESPN.com writes:

“Sam’s efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

“Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

“Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have 24 hours to put in a claim for Sam.

“According to one league source, the Rams would like to bring Sam back to their 10-man practice squad.”

Sam, who played defensive end for Missouri in college, was picked 249th out of 256 in the May draft after coming out earlier in the year about his homosexuality.

When the player learned the news, ESPN cameras were rolling as Sam and his boyfriend embraced and kissed, sparking a social media firestorm from some who felt the display was inappropriate.

Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of OutSports, a sports news site that’s dedicated to LBGT athletes, said in an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in May, that he didn’t think that Sam’s homosexuality would be a deciding factor, but he also suggested that the groundbreaking nature of the move would make it difficult for the Rams to drop him.

“[Everything’s] going to be decided on his ability to help the team win, but I don’t think the Rams became the first team ever to draft an openly gay player just to be the first team to cut an openly player,” Zeigler told ATC host Melissa Block. “I think that probably somewhere in the back of somebody’s head in the Rams organization is the idea that maybe we should find some way to keep him.”

Another NFL team could now sign Sam to its roster, or the defensive end could wind up back with the Rams, on their practice team.

Sam has commented on his release on Twitter, thanking the Rams and the city of St. Louis for giving him the opportunity to play and writing, “I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Relatives of 3-year-old Syrian Kurdish boy Aylan Kurdi carry his body during a funeral procession for Aylan, his mother, Rehan, and his older brother, Galip, in Kobani, Syria, on Friday.

Father Of Drowned Syrian 3-Year-Old: ‘We Are Human Beings, Just Like Westerners’

Abdullah Kurdi, whose 3-year-old son’s lifeless body was photographed facedown on a Turkish beach, says: “I hope the world will learn something from it.”


Kentucky Clerk’s Office Issues Same-Sex Marriage License

A deputy clerk issued the license, while the elected county clerk spent the morning in jail. A gay couple who had tried five times before finally got their marriage license.


In this photo taken in July, Gustavo Monteagudo fills out a job application at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to a seven-year low for August, to just 5.1 percent.

Unemployment Rate Dips To 5.1 Percent Amid 173,000 New Jobs In August

The latest job-creation figure fell short of economists’ forecasts. But the reports from the Department of Labor added a total of 44,000 jobs to the tallies for June and July.


A man lifts up a child next to a train that was stopped in Bicske, Hungary, on Friday. More than 150,000 people have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia.

Refugees Leave Budapest Train Station, Vowing To Walk To Germany

Also: The father of a 3-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Aegean Sea buries his family, and in Hungary, 2,300 migrants at a refugee camp near the Serbian border have threatened to break out.


President Obama meets Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh in January. The president is hosting King Salman at the White House today.

Obama To Reassure Saudi King Amid Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Deal

To prove its support for Gulf Arab allies, the Obama administration is stepping up military sales to Saudi Arabia. The president hosts King Salman at the White House today.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments