Arizona Cardinals free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby was asked today by Sirius XM NFL Radio if defensive end Michael Sam, who came out publicly as gay yesterday, would be a distraction in the locker room. He said without a doubt he’d be a distraction.
I get where he’s coming from but it’s only a distraction if he and others let it be. It’s like any other situation where a player is involved and it gets national attention. The better teams and coaches don’t let it become a distraction. Gil Brandt even mentioned to Dansby after his initial comment he didn’t think his coach (Bruce Arians) would allow something like this to become a distraction in his locker room. Dansby didn’t sound too convinced of that.
We’ll try to match that, um, situation but it’s going to be hard, going to be hard man because it’s such a big topic
He went on to say he believes that it’ll be tough for him in any locker room because of the culture. This is a point I tried to make last night. This is why he did come out. He knows what the culture is. He wanted everyone to know now and not hide it and have someone find out later. A team, player, coach could all feel blindsided, no matter how right or wrong it is to feel that way, if he didn’t come out and someone found out on their own. This is not a league that many people like surprises like this.
I’m going to disagree with Dansby. I think the right locker room will accept him and a strong-willed team, one with high regard for character and maintaining focus, won’t let something like this become a distraction. He’s a very talented player who could help many teams, even the Cards, although he may not be the fit with the other needs the Cards need higher up in the draft.