When Missouri linebacker Michael Sam made history on Saturday afternoon as the first openly gay man to be drafted into the NFL, reaction came in from all parts of the country. Social media was all a buzz with words of congratulations as well as some who did not like the selection by the St. Louis Rams.
However what got people really talking was ESPN’s taping of the immediate and raw reaction Sam had when he found out he had been selected by the Rams. It was a moment of emotion followed by several kisses with his boyfriend/partner, and sharing some celebratory cake.
NBC Sports Network analyst Shaun King joined WDAE’s ‘The Ron And Ian Show’ to discuss what was broadcast by ESPN when Sam was selected.
“It is what it is. There’s a gay player and it’s the National Football League, I’m cool with that and everybody’s cool with that,” said King. “But I think they went a little over the top with the public affection stuff.”
King is not alone with his take on the matter as several noted NFL players were uncomfortable with the public showing of affection by Sam and his partner. Former Super Bowl champion Derrick Ward tweeted how much he was uncomfortable with the situation, leading to some on social media to send him death threats.
I'm sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv. I'm fine with it being a new day in age but for him to do that on— Derrick Ward (@derrickward32) May 10, 2014
National tv is disgusting. Gay or not.— Derrick Ward (@derrickward32) May 10, 2014
King’s main concern was ESPN putting parents is a delicate spot to explain to their children what they were seeing on television.
“If you’re sitting there with your 5-6 year old kid, how do explain that to them when they’re asking ‘daddy why is that man kissing that man’? ESPN shouldn’t put a family in that kind of situation when you’re watching the draft,” said King. “This wasn’t a story about gay marriage or something like that. This was supposed to be the draft, so I was uncomfortable with how much of a focal point they made it with showing him being selected.”
King added Michael Sam’s biggest concern moving forward should actually be making the Rams 53 man roster.
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