By Chris Stigall
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall talked with CBS 3’s Beasley Reece on 1210 WPHT about how Michael Sam’s presence will affect the St. Louis Rams and the NFL. Sam will now be the focus of a reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Reece said the increased media presence and attention are what will cause the most distractions for the football team.
“I knew it was going to be a carnival even without Oprah’s OWN Network reality show being a part of it. I think that’s the number one challenge that any team [has] to face is the fact that something is coming into the family that is beyond winning games and that’s always difficult. I played with gay players, knowingly and unknowingly. I had a gay teammate with the Giants. Nobody cared. Nobody really made a big deal of it. I never thought that would be an issue. I thought the power of the media today would be an issue.”
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He dismissed speculation that the team would face a backlash for cutting the first openly gay player if he was not good enough to make it through training camp.
“I think it will be pretty clear. This is a savvy fan base and savvy football nation. We’ll know whether or not he was messed over or treated unfairly by his play. He’s got to go make plays. He’s in the game now. He’s a part of the fraternity. They’re going kick the ball off and he better knock somebody out and if there’s no stats, if there’s no interceptions, if there’s no tackles, he’s going to get cut.”