On Saturday, NFL fans at Radio City Music Hall in New York seemed to boo when ESPN showed Michael Sam on the screen as Tennessee was getting ready to pick in the Fourth Round and one pick before the New York Giants’ pick.
Sam, seen as a tweener who may not be big enough to be on the line and not quick enough to play linebacker, is trying to become the first openly gay football player to be drafted. Scouts have said they would not be surprised if he is not drafted at all.
ESPN will have a camera with Sam, who played at Missouri in the SEC, to get his live reaction if he is selected, and the television audience heard boos as soon as ESPN cut to Sam for the first time on Saturday. It is unclear whether the boos were directed at Sam or at ESPN for focusing on Sam and his storyline during at a point in time in the Draft when he was not going to be chosen and the hometown Giants were about to go on the clock. Sam was seen watching the Draft flanked by two male friends.
ESPN says it has a camera with Michael Sam today and will show his reaction if he is picked.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 10, 2014
I’m watching on TV but did the crowd @ Radio City boo Michael Sam when he was shown on screen? Or was that ESPN viewers that only saw that?
— Lou Pellegrino (@Lou_Pellegrino) May 10, 2014
— Brendan (@_bgates) May 10, 2014