Only a few short days after owners of the New York Giants came out in support of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam for living an openly gay lifestyle, cornerback Terrell Thomas offered an opposing view.
While speaking with the New York Post, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent said Sam's presence in an NFL locker-room is likely to change the culture and alter the brotherhood experienced at the NFL — something that will only be made worse with the media and their ever-watchful eye.
“The biggest thing is the media, hearing that a bunch of 18 and 20 year olds can accept him, why can’t a bunch of grown men in an NFL locker room?" Thomas said to the New York Post. “To be honest with you, the culture’s different. It is a brotherhood unlike no other. [And] it changes things around the locker room. How you can act, how you can talk. Unwanted attention to your organization, unwanted questions that you have to answer. It puts a lot of pressure on certain people who don’t want to be in that position."
Beyond the impact it will have on a locker-room, Thomas cites his faith as a reason he's uncomfortable with Sam's homosexuality, calling it a sin and something he doesn't believe in.
“I don’t believe in it, I don’t respect it, but if that’s what you want to do, so be it," Thomas added. “Me being a follower of Christ and a strong Christian obviously that’s a sin and I definitely don’t believe in it."
Despite personal his beliefs — whether religious or his view on the locker-room — Thomas made it clear that, ultimately, he'd have no issue with Sam as a teammate or person and that his views are simply his own and no one else's.
“I’m not saying he’s selfish by any means, I know what he did is very courageous, a lot of people wouldn’t do that, but at the same time no one really knows if the NFL is ready for it," Thomas said.
Whether or not the NFL, its owners or players are ready, Michael Sam is on his way. He may not be a first-rounder, but he's very talented nonetheless. And if the true goal of an NFL franchise is simply to win a championship by any means necessary, then someone, somewhere will welcome Sam with open arms and get to work with that — and only that — in mind.
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