Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football League, was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round. Greg Robinson, a tackle who played his college ball at Auburn, was the first player that the Rams selected. Both of them recently went to the Rookie Symposium.
There are four main points that are addressed at the Symposium every year. These are considered to be cornerstones, and rookies can learn a lot on each topic to prepare for life in the NFL. One of those four main topics looks at conduct in the workplace. Players learn about discrimination and how they should treat one another.
When asked about Sam, Robinson said that he was not being discriminated against based on his sexual orientation. Instead, Robinson said that all of the players in the Rams’ organization were being respected to the same degree. Sam himself simply said that the vets were treating him the way they would always treat a rookie.
However, it does remain to be seen if Sam will make it onto the final roster for the Rams. He excelled at Missouri, winning honors as one of the best players in the South Eastern Conference, but he was a late pick in the NFL. Unlike Robinson, who is projected to start on the first week, Sam has to work hard to earn his spot.
Workplace harassment is not just something that is banned in NFL locker rooms, but something that is not allowed in any workplace. All workers have a right to fair treatment. Anyone who feels that they are being discriminated against should look into their legal options to protect their rights.
Source: AL.com, “Greg Robinson says Michael Sam receives same respect as all St. Louis teammates” Mark Inabinett, Jun. 24, 2014