Union President: NFL Players Will Accept Michael Sam ‘With Open Arms’


Michael SamMichael Sam will have no problem fitting into an NFL locker room, according to a players’ union executive.

NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth said Monday on ESPN’s Mike & Mike that the league’s players will welcome Sam, who is the first openly gay NFL draft prospect.

“I know that the union will accept him with open arms, as will our players,” Foxworth said.

Sam came out to his college teammates at Missouri before the 2013 season. The Tigers went 12-2, and Sam earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors after having an 11.5-sack season.

“The team’s gonna build up around their teammate, and it’s going to galvanize the team,” Foxworth said. “Everyone’s talking about how this could disrupt the locker room. Some NFL locker rooms need disrupting, to be frank. Coaches go through a lot of different things to try to build a bond between the team, and what’s going to build a bond more than having a player that all the guys know is kind of a target for opposing fans and maybe a target for opposing players?

“That type of stuff is what makes you build up around a guy, and Missouri seemed to have a pretty good season. So I expect whatever team he goes to is not going to be adversely affected. If anything, they could be positively affected by adding a man like that.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would welcome Sam if the defensive end helps improve the team. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would only discuss Sam as a football player.

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