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The Indianapolis Colts are one of the elite teams in the league. Any player coming into this years draft would be happy to be drafted by the Colts. Obviously the Colts would not be equally happy with just any player. They need players who will fill their needs, fit their scheme and mesh with the family environment that exists in the locker room at Lucas Oil Stadium. There are a lot of questions floating around the nation with the news about Michael Sam.
Sam is a player form Missouri University who will be entering the draft this year. On Sunday, Michael Sam announced in an interview that he is gay. This through the football world into a crazy inferno of opinions. Could Sam fit on an NFL roster? Will this hurt his draft status? Will this effect how he’s treated in the locker room? Questions that many NFL owners are asking themselves right now.
Today Mike Wells posted an article stating that the Indianapolis Colts are ready for a gay player. Not that they are going to draft Sam, but if they did it would be okay. He quotes several players like Pat McAfee and Anthony Castonzo who express the job over the sexual preference. As long as a player who is gay does his job, then there should be no problem. That’s the sentiment that we are supposed to believe. In fact, that should be true, but we know that it’s not.
Let’s look at what we’ve learned form the Richie Incognito story. There are many players out there who berate other players for a lot of reasons. If Sam gets into the wrong locker room with the wrong players it might not be good for Sam or the team.
Should players berate their own teammates for qualities that don’t even relate to the game? Absolutely not! That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. This is something that teams will have to look at long and hard before drafting the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Would the Colts be a fit?
Would the Colts locker room be a good fit for Michael Sam? I would say yes. The Indianapolis Colts have a pretty good reputation for being pretty good guys. Many of them have come out and said that they don’t care if someone is gay or not. They care about the job and I believe that is probably the general opinion of the team and ownership. A football team is a business and the business wants to know if you can make them money not who you’re dating.
The problem that the Colts might run into is their beloved city. Recently Indianapolis has had a battle over house bill HJ3. This would allowed for a vote to make gay marriages against the Indiana State Constitution. HJ3 seems to be meeting some resistance, but there have been plenty of people showing their support for the bill. Indiana is a conservative state and there are some who will boycott the Colts if they draft a gay player. Some will strike up picket lines. Some will wear offensive shirts to games.
None of these reactions are right, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a reality. These are things that a team will need to consider. A squeaky clean team like the Indianapolis Colts will have to look at what their fans may think.
After a season none of this will matter. Either Sam will be a good player or not and that’s how he’ll be remembered. If he’s good, then people will look past their differences to root for him. If he’s bad then he won’t play enough for it to matter. Fans have a way of forgiving you if you win. That’s all Sam needs to do and I’m sure that’s all he wants to do. That’s all the Colts want to do. I believe that if Sam fits the Colts scheme and he’s available when the Colts are ready, they’ll have no problem welcoming him to Indianapolis.