The St. Louis Rams chose Michael Sam as their seventh-round draft pick, giving the National Football League’s first out-of-the-closet gay player a lot of media attention. Former NFL players like Chris Kluwe and Barry Sanders contend that Sam is not the first gay player in the league, but he remains the first one to be open about his sexuality, even kissing his boyfriend on video for ESPN right after he was drafted.

A survey done by Huffington Post and You Gov indicated that 60 percent of Americans surveyed support their favorite NFL team signing a player who was openly gay, with 65 percent of NFL fans agreeing.

Sanders and other Hall of Fame players don’t think that Sam will be subjected to any locker room sexual harassment because teammates establish bonds with one another that transcend their lifestyles and backgrounds.

Kluwe, who was cut from the Viking’s line-up last year and who is an outspoken advocate for gay rights, maintains that several team’s players spoke to him in confidence about their gay teammates who chose not to publicly declare their sexuality. The Williams Institute at UCLA concluded from their 2011 research that approximately 3.5 percent of the population is bisexual or gay, which would average out to about two gay NFL players per team.

For Sam himself, the goal remains to “see No. 96 running down that field and making big plays.” His career trajectory will be followed closely by fans of the Rams and millions of others across the nation.

With all the attention on the Rams and their interactions with Sam, it’s likely his transition will be fairly smooth as long as he has all the right moves on the football field. Those in other corporate settings might not be as lucky, however.

If your workplace has become a hostile working environment rife with unwelcome sexual behavior, it might be time to get proactive and seek legal advice from a Missouri employment law attorney.

Source:, “NFL alums support Rams seventh-round draft pick Sam” Alan Robinson, May. 15, 2014