Posted February 10, 2014

Donte Stallworth, Patrick Crayton offer differing reactions to Michael Sam’s announcement

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Michael Sam has captivated the attention of the NFL world, for better and worse. (Tim Sharp/AP)

Michael Sam has captivated the attention of the NFL world, for better and worse. (Tim Sharp/AP)

Perhaps privately, some players share the sentiments expressed by several NFL executives to SI on Michael Sam’s announcement: that the league is not yet ready to embrace a gay athlete. Publicly, however, the reactions have been mostly positive — none more so than that of wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who ranted on Twitter against the notion that Sam’s sexuality could be a locker room distraction.

KING: NFL reacts to Michael Sam’s announcement

“If any NFL team can’t ‘handle the media coverage’ of drafting Sam, then your team is already a loser on the field… let me tell you why…” Stallworth began, before spending about an hour discussing the situation.

“There are a multitude of issues that can arise in the long duration of an NFL season… some on the field, some off the field. You won’t have any idea what that on the field/off the field situation is until it’s already upon you and the entire organization,” he continued. “Which means that with drafting Michael Sam, you get a jump start on controlling the ‘media coverage’ right from the onset.”

Stallworth then contrasted the situations that the Dolphins and Patriots faced during the 2013 season: Miami’s 4-4 record and a missed shot at the playoffs after the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito scandal vs. New England winning the AFC East despite Aaron Hernandez’s arrest and a media swarm surrounding Tim Tebow in the preseason.

The Patriots succeeded, Stallworth argued, “because [Patriots owner Robert] Kraft and Bill Belichick would not allow ANY of that to be a “distraction” to ANYONE in the entire organization…”

FARRAR: Scouting Report: Is Sam good enough to make it in NFL?

Another former NFL wide receiver, Patrick Crayton, was far less sympathetic to the situation. He tweeted upon Sam’s announcement: “Oh wow!! There goes the NFL!”

He followed that comment up with: “Stay in the closet and keep to urself (sic)!!!”

More from Crayton (warning: R-rated language):

Meanwhile, current Giants defensive back Charles James tweeted (then later deleted): “1) your business is your business I don’t care! 2) When did this become a heroic act? 3) I’m pissed because I can’t even watch ESPN.”

BISHOP: Inside the SoCo Club, the pride for Sam’s announcement runs deeper

Here are some other reactions from NFL players, including those tweeted out by Incognito and Martin:

50 comments
bubbalooey
bubbalooey

Every race has so called racists, people who feel more comfortable living, working, talking with their own, not so much as 'hate', just they feel in a comfort zone.... nothing wrong with that.  Some like to mix with other races, so what.  It would probably improve if the media wouldn't constantly bombard the public with 'race' stories, or which race has more money or jobs, all it does is drive a wedge between races...... if there is a problem, go to the source and fix it..... stop the divisive crap.

PurpleCity52
PurpleCity52

It's gonna be a distraction on any team, we are not ready for openly gay players in any major sport... We still can't kill racism... We all know after a few beers when the ease of ignorance comes out he will be called a ni66er, but not only that he will be called a gay ni66er.

The younger generation of America are ruthless and racism is still well and alive out there... Same for homophobia it's probably bigger than racism.. Ask any one who plays online games how much homophobia and racism still exist out here...

LuscioustheCat
LuscioustheCat

Anyone who loves to be honest about who they are will be supportive of this, and anyone who doesn't like people being honest with others will not be supportive. 


Simple.

Mark_Thomas
Mark_Thomas

I will pray for you guys with the urge to go raw in the s h i t disposal of your fellow man. Hope y'all get a discount on bleach for your bed sheets

Finup
Finup

Why the heck do we need to know who this guy enjoys sleeping with. Keep it to yourself!!!!!

We need decently and morality back in our lives and in our societies. Teaching our young kids about these devious lifestyles will break the fabric of a just and moral society.

Finup
Finup

I lover Crayton's comment's. There is no freedom of Speech with these Gays. If you come out and express yourself and how you really feel about Homosexuality then you are labeled, tarnished, fined and maybe even suspended. 95 percent of the NFL Players want no part of a Gay guy in the locker room, since when was it courageous for a man to sleep with another man!!!!

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

He made a strategic decision coming out because people were sniffing around, and THAT would be more of an issue in a locker room than him being out there.  

I am, however, hoping that this soon fades into the realm that we dont have to hear about it.  I dont care about it really, but it would be nice to go through a few sports news cycles without hearing about the players sex life

Centennial
Centennial

Psshhh... he's just an attention seeker; probably not even gay. And if he is, who cares?

JubJub
JubJub

Donte' Stallworth has had the most mature and nuanced response of any athlete or GM I've heard.  He's absolutely right.  If a GM can't handle something as harmless as a gay player in the locker room, how can they handle serious problems?  


All of these cowardly GM's who have hidden under the cloak of anonymity probably oversee teams that haven't sniffed the playoffs in years.  Real men allow themselves to be held accountable for their words and actions.  With GM's like this in the NFL, it's no wonder that inept buffoons like Jeff Ireland and Matt Millen were allowed to stay around for as long as they did.


Michael Sam is ten times the man of any of these gutless wonders.  

theboneman21
theboneman21

Ahhh, America. I look forward to the day you join most of the modern world.

DeeBo
DeeBo

Because we care so much about the opinions of two washed up NFL receivers.  Anything to get their names out there.  Pathetic.


mystafugee
mystafugee

To those saying why is this a big deal?  I'll tell you who thinks it's a big deal: NFL teams.  They were the ones snooping around, asking about his sexuality.  First off that violates US labor laws but nobody ever accused the NFL or it's teams of acting accordingly.  

1NickyD
1NickyD

He wanted to control the story; I would want to also. This way no one can say he "hid" this before draft,or have some negative story line come out about his preferences.. Win lose or draw on draft day the team that takes him will know who he is and what he stands for. Hey Defensive player of year in SEC can't be to shabby.

SteveWiley
SteveWiley

Seems NFL players don't understand the saying "I could NOT care less."  If you truly could care less, why aren't you?  

j7apple
j7apple

Gays make being Gay an issue because they make it an issue. 

rifleman
rifleman

If most players & scouts already knew he was homosexual why 'come out' & create this ridiculous media firestorm? I don't care what he is. Can he play? I usually watch Mike & Mike on ESPN but couldn't b/c 75% of their show dealt with this issue. If he isn't drafted high enough is it going to be b/c he 'came out'? Like the NBA player who was bellyaching b/c no team would sign him (b/c he was gay). The guy was a marginal player at best and getting older but now b/c he 'came out' he (and others) were able to use this as an excuse...Just play & leave your personal issues out of the news!

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Other than extremely weird or illegal fetishes, I can't see why this matters any more...or why players would particularly give a damn. I won't say congratulations to the cat...to me it's the same as a player saying he's openly straight (who effin CARES?!) but yeah...this took guts.

StephenGrange
StephenGrange

AZ Cards need a young pass rusher in draft ..My only complaint about Mike being drafted would be if he failed to deliver at NFL level..


Just want team to be winners...the rest? Black white yellow stripes straight or gay..don't care. Kudos for telling his story before it was thrust upon him....


ALL the best young man!

tweet7
tweet7

@Mark_Thomas  Is the  "urge to go raw in the pi** disposal of your woman" an accurate and all-encompassing description of heterosexuality? 


Consider washing your mouth out before reaching out to God.

tweet7
tweet7

@Finup  How do you feel about freedom of Speech with these Blacks? Would the NFL punish players who openly oppose interracial marriage? Would love to hear your thoughts.

jcoley3
jcoley3

@Finup You do realize that Freedom of Speech has absolutely nothing to do with you getting to say whatever you want without consequences or rebuttals from others, right? Actually, I doubt you do...

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@Centennial why would he come out if he wasn't really gay?  He only did this because people in the league were asking questions about his sexuality... so he just got out in front of it

NathanWalker
NathanWalker

@JubJub  I just wish the words hadn't come from a guy who got drunk and then killed a pedestrian with his car, like Stallworth did...

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@theboneman21 you mean like Russia?  


America is alot more tolerant than 99% of the world as it is.... there will be pockets of every civilization that are always bigoted and intolerant - weather its race, orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc etc

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

@theboneman21  Where have you lived idiot? At least I've lived in two countries more than 15 years. America is very modern. What a moron you are.

Fifilo
Fifilo

@SteveWiley Oh, let's not even get started on 'begging the question.' Sadly, this is their first an only language.

YemiThaBassMan
YemiThaBassMan

@SteveWiley  Most English speakers don't understand this distinction. Kudos to you for crusading against improper sayings! 

Yes, I'm being sarcastic. Clown. 

Mike D2
Mike D2

@j7apple  Riiiight. Just like Jackie Robinson made being black an issue by being openly black. 



MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@rifleman because they were asking questions, and would be trying to "out" him for his whole career.  Hiding in the shadows to live your personal life is no way to live.... not saying hes a hero, but he did what he had to do

ThomasWi
ThomasWi

@rifleman  

He came out because he didn't want to spend his NFL career covering it up. Someone takes a cell photo of him and his boyfriend in public and all hell breaks loose. So either he gets it out of the way now or spends however many years trying to hide it. 

jjtruth
jjtruth

@StephenGrange Arizona is an anti-homosexual state why would any queer want to play there?  Sure he'd want to play for the liberal teams like SF, Seattle, Baltimore, NYG, NYJ, Redskins or Bears.  No point in spreading sickness.

Rodney_Littlejohn
Rodney_Littlejohn

@MartyJenkins

and, the FACT, that the league was asking those questions made it an issue. 

but, that's not what you focus on, is it? 

i'll put it like this, if some, fat, white, punk, nfl exec were to have asked me if my mother is a prostitute, as some, fat, white, punk, nfl, exec asked a player, i'd have mouth-raped him right then and there and told him now, go make that public, PUNK! go tell your bosses that you swallowed my pride!


if you don't want to hear bout his sexuality, then complain to the nfl when they privilege themselves investigate potential players' personal lives. and, all the same time they hide the fact that numerous nfl execs and owners promote, and participate in, child-prostitution/rape.

look@thebrightside
look@thebrightside

@MartyJenkins @theboneman21  99% of the world ?

except canada, basically all of western europe, definitely the scandinavian countries and australia / new zealand. just to name a few that are much more forward thinking than the big bad usa. 

theboneman21
theboneman21

@MartyJenkins @theboneman21And yet your "leaders" still herd you based on topics like men marrying each other and women choosing medical procedures for the own bodies.


Those are my two favorites because it's usually the "do away with so much government" imbeciles who want the government to get involved in such matters.


And, the the few thousand years gang are always a favorite to observe.

JubJub
JubJub

@anon222 @theboneman21  It doesn't matter where he's from.  I live in America, and he probably does, too.  That doesn't mean we don't have the right to criticize the country.  Blind obedience to country isn't patriotism; it's treason.  People should love a country enough to be critical of it for its poor condcut.  That is true patriotism because the only way to get a country to improve is by identifying its problems.  

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@Mike D2 @j7apple while I dont have a problem with this athlete at all - comparing him to Jackie is just insane... its not even the same dimension

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

@Mike D2 @j7apple  A bit different. 1/ Gays were not in chains. 2/ Sexual preference is not like skin color. A lot "easier" to discriminate against skin color since you can see it.

YemiThaBassMan
YemiThaBassMan

@Mike D2 @j7apple  It's a little more difficult to hide blackness than who you take to bed or find attractive.  

Just sayin'. 

Why is this news? And why is this considered something that "takes guts"? He's a dude who is attracted to dudes. 

Can he play football? 

anon222
anon222

@theboneman21 @anon222  Just wondering who's included in "most of the modern world." Who exactly is the United States so far behind? Discrimination/intolerance is a global ailment, and yes, the US is certainly not immune. But sporting events across the globe provide a lens to racism, homophobia, ignorance, and hatred, and your assertion that the US is behind is the same sort of silliness that will keep us all from ever moving forward.

jjtruth
jjtruth

@BillieBob @mrfrogburger@Mike D2@j7appleSure King James, Nero and Oscar Wilde types were brutalized and burned while they were ruling nations and sitting on inherited wealth while raping poor folk and owning slaves.  Sure was hard wasn't it?

o-scar
o-scar

@mrfrogburger @Mike D2@j7apple 

But, gays have had to grow listening to hate directed at them by enemies, friends, coaches, the government, and even their parents. Lauding a man for coming out at the risk of losing his dreams doesn't diminish any of what blacks have gone through.

BillieBob
BillieBob

@mrfrogburger @Mike D2 @j7apple  

Ignorant comment. Gays have been brutalized throughout history -- burned alive in Europe... Ever hear of Mathew Shepard? Basically lynched. Gays are beaten up all the time. How many blacks ever got rejected by their families because they were black? How many hung themselves as a result? Answer: zero.


Sure it's easier to discriminate against something you can see. Now you can "see" who Sam is. That takes guts.


Slavery was a hideous evil of enormous proportions -- a stain on human history the way the Holocaust was. That doesn't mean anti-gay violence and bigotry isn't also a stain on human history

jjtruth
jjtruth

@YemiThaBassMan @Mike D2@j7appleEasy for you to hold such opinions & say stuff like this when you work a 9 to 5 job.  You don't share close quarters with other males.  How would you like a queer having a crush on you getting getting an erection looking at you or trying to get into your room shower or bed?  How would you like one of them sweating you & talking dirty making come ons trying to recruit?  This becomes a kind of sexual harassment but how many men will report such incidents?  That's very terribly unnatural, uncomfortable, unpleasant and difficult to deal with for a straight person, who is just trying to do their job. It violates your personal peace too.  Creepy.  You can say leave if you don't like it, but then if great players start doing this the quality of the game and recruitment deteriorates even more.  If I were a dual sport athlete I'd simply bypass the NFL.  Homosexuality has no rightful purpose and it has no proper function beyond depravity and recruitment.  When two men impregnate the other and carry a baby to full term then I'll go sit down. Til that time I going to tell the hard, cold truth it is perversion and its wrong.  Case closed liberal.

bandit74
bandit74

@YemiThaBassMan @Mike D2 @j7apple  it takes guts to stand up in the face of discrimination. Does this make him a hero? Maybe not to you or me but I bet there's a gay kid out there somewhere who thinks it does. And I'm betting future generations will remember him more kindly than this one.  How many white people thought Jackie Robinson was a hero in 1947?  How many do today?