Courtesy of WikiMediaCommons.
When the St. Louis Rams drafted defensive end Michael Sam out of Missouri University with the 249th overall pick (7th round) of the 2014 NFL Draft, questions regarding Missouri law have been raised. The first to raise this discussion to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) was Casey Berner.
Per USA Today, Missouri employment law “does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation”. What this means is that the St. Louis Rams have publicly defied Missouri law, and Michael Sam may be the pioneer for sexual equality in the workplace for the entire state. Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, would be the location of any legislative changes.
Michael Sam has expressed his disgust with the other NFL franchises stating: “Other organizations don’t have the balls the Rams have“. Sam can be fired from the Rams for his sexual orientation and House Bill 1930 will be discussed in-depth now that Sam has been drafted by a Missouri-based franchise.
Michael Sam #10 St. Louis Rams jerseys have already become the second-most purchased jersey of all drafted players only behind Cleveland‘s Johnny Manziel. Manziel was the 22nd overall pick and Jadeveon Clowney, 1st overall pick, is third in jersey sales with his #90 Houston Texans jerseys.
Michael Sam‘s impact on both the LGBTQQIP2SAA and NFL communities cannot be overlooked and Missouri law will be under fire, especially if Sam makes the 52-man roster. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been involved in an anti-bullying scandal and now may have to intervene against Missouri law to protect one of his players. Public support for Michael Sam has been generally positive, but not all have joined the praise. It remains to be seen how opposing NFL franchises will react to Michael Sam being on the same field as they are, but St. Louis has made the first move against Missouri law by drafting the first openly gay player in the 7th and final round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Mike Silver, reporter for NFL.com, was in the Rams war room during the draft and released an article from his perspective.