Another day, another football player being critical of Michael Sam.
On Tuesday, we had Mississippi State tight end Rufus Warren saying that he looks down on gay players. A statement he later apologized for. And now, we have New York Giants DB Terrell Thomas telling the New York Post that while he would shake Sam’s hand for his courage, he would also inform Sam that he doesn’t “believe in it” and he “doesn’t respect it.”
“I don’t believe in it, I don’t respect it, but if that’s what you want to do, so be it,’’ Thomas told The Post Tuesday night, a day after Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said if Sam is deemed worthy of selection, he will be taken by the team. “I can’t speak for the NFL or our team or the locker room, I just know what goes on and what type of situation it’s going to put a lot of guys in.’’
While some believe that Sam will see the most backlash outside of the locker room, Thomas isn’t so sure.
“I think the biggest thing is going to be in the locker room,’’ said Thomas, a cornerback and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. “Not on the football field, not on the practice field but in the locker room where guys are walking around naked, guys are joking, the way coaches talk, the way players talk, you have to be careful what you say because you don’t want to offend anybody.
“When you look at the Miami Dolphins situation [between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito] that happened last year nobody wants that in their locker room. That’s coming and that’s the unfortunate thing, more than anything, because now it’s about him or his beliefs and not about football.’’
Like Hines Ward, Thomas also thinks the NFL isn’t ready for a gay player.
“You have to be able to take that and when you’re dealing with somebody that is considered gay, to make any type of comment of that nature towards him or towards somebody else, you don’t know if you’re offending him,’’ Thomas said. “It changes a lot of things and I don’t know if the NFL is ready for that.’’
One of the biggest issue that isn’t being discussing is the religious component of all of this. Thomas, being a Christian, sheds light on how Sam could be viewed by other Christians in the league.
“Me being a follower of Christ and a strong Christian obviously that’s a sin and I definitely don’t believe in it,’’ he said. “I don’t care to comment on it any more. You start bringing religion and politics into football it just gets ugly.
“I’m not saying he’s selfish by any means, I know what he did is very courageous, a lot of people wouldn’t do that, but at the same time no one really knows if the NFL is ready for it.’’
We shall soon find out if the NFL is indeed ready for this.