In a move of support for Missouri defensive end and NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam, who announced recently he was gay, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf called Sam’s decision “courageous” in a statement released Monday, Feb. 10.
“We commend Michael Sam for being very courageous with his openness on something of such a personal nature,” Wilf said. “His comments will have no impact on how the Vikings view Michael as a football player or as a person. If a player can help us win, we will warmly welcome him as part of the team and provide an accepting, respectful and supportive environment to help him succeed in the NFL.”
Similar sentiment has been expressed by the Broncos GM John Elway, as well as the New York Giants. The University of Missouri is also standing strong behind Sam.
Last season Sam was an All-American and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year — but he is only slated by most NFL analysts as a third to fifth round selection. NFL scouts are claiming Sam’s pass-rushing ability is among the best in the draft.
The Vikings’ coaching staff will likely have Sam on their draft board — the NFL Combine, which starts next week, will give the Vikings a chance to get a closer look at the former Missouri Tiger. Sam also got a big stage to play on as one of the selected participants to play in the Senior Bowl in January.
According to the Star Tribune:
One of the members on staff, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, is the center of an independent review regarding claims from former punter Chris Kluwe of anti-gay remarks. Kluwe had dinner with Sam on Saturday, the day before his announcement went public.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday, May 8.
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