On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Luke Russert, who somehow will be a regular Meet The Press panelist, said NFL teams did not flock to sign Michael Sam after the Rams cut him because he is gay.
“So, let’s call a spade a spade,” Russert said, according to a Newsbusters transcript. “The reason Michael Sam isn’t on any active rosters isn’t because he can’t play and isn’t because of the media circus, the reason why there is a slowness to signing him to a practice squad is probably because he’s gay.”
Time‘s Sean Gregory piled on, saying teams were “cowardly” for not signing Sam and blasting the NFL’s “militaristic” and “very old-fashioned” culture. Russert then asked, given where “society is heading,” “don’t you want to be on the right side of history if you’re the NFL?” “Who would have thought Jerry Jones is the leader to get on the right side of history?”
The bottom line is that Sam’s underperformance at the combine was a warning sign that the prototypical “tweener” who is not big enough to play on the line in the NFL and not quick enough to play linebacker would have trouble making an active roster. And his sexual orientation may have actually helped him land on a team, as MMQB’s Rep. Peter King (R-NY) reported on Thursday evening. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was not ready to play. And Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it was not a tough decision at all to cut him.
There was not the same level of outrage from Russert and his mainstream media ilk when Tim Tebow, a Heisman-winning quarterback who led the Broncos to a playoff win, could not find a team after being cut from the Patriots.
Welcome to Meet the Press, where you can expect plenty more of this type of “informed commentary” on Sundays.