Fox News' Bolling: NFL Drafted Michael Sam Only Because He's Gay

Monday, 12 May 2014 08:23 PM

By Jason Devaney

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A Fox News commentator said Monday that Michael Sam made it into the National Football League only because he is gay.

Sam, who was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of the draft on Saturday, announced he was gay earlier this year. He is now the first openly gay player in NFL history.

On Monday's "The Five," host Eric Bolling cited Sam's poor results in the NFL Combine, an event that measures potential draftees' skills, saying Sam "had a terrible combine" and is not as good a player as others may think.

"Some people were saying he was pushed down, Bob [Beckel] thinks he was pushed down in the draft because he was being the first openly gay NFL player and the teams didn't want the distraction," Bolling said.

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"I would say he was drafted because he was the first openly gay player. I don't think he would have been drafted had he not been. He had a terrible combine. His scores in the combine didn't earn him that draft pick."

ESPN and the NFL Network both aired the scene that unfolded after Sam was selected by the Rams. Sobbing, he and his partner shared a kiss that was broadcast live across the world.

"When I got home last night and saw the attention [the kiss was receiving], it kind of threw me," ESPN producer Seth Markman said of the network's coverage of Sam's reaction. "We're a young production crew, and quite honestly, it was just another moment in the years we've done this.

"In the truck, we were only saying, 'Wow, this is great emotion here.' No one stepped up and said, 'Oh, wow, do we really want to be showing this?'"

Sam said he deserved to be picked much higher in the draft — he was the 249th of 256 picks — but stopped short of saying his sexual preference played a role.

"From last season alone, I should've been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American," Sam said.

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