Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 3
Congratulations to Michael Sam on signing with the Dallas Cowboys! WWE will extend its invitation for Michael Sam to appear on any future Monday Night Raw he wishes. We offer our support for Michael as he continues his journey.
Michael Sam may not have gotten the invite to join the St. Louis Rams roster, but he did receive an invitation from the WWE:
Stephanie McMahon also wrote an open letter to Sam on WWE's website:
Exhibiting class and dignity rarely shown in professional sports, Michael Sam, WWE invites you to next Monday's Raw to speak of your struggles to succeed, lessons you have learned along the way, the courage it takes to be yourself and the prospects of your continued journey.
You are a role model, who, by example, can encourage everyone to stand up and openly be themselves.
Sam wouldn’t be the first athlete to make an appearance in a WWE event if he chooses to attend. Floyd Mayweather participated in WrestleMania XXIV in 2008 and defeated The Big Show in Orlando, Florida.
While it is highly unlikely that Sam would risk injury by participating in the ring as a free agent, he would be quite the foe. At 6'2" and 261 pounds, he wouldn't be very easy to pin, and his exceptional footwork that helped him thrive as a defensive end at Missouri would contribute to his elusiveness.
Sam has been in the news recently because the Rams filled their practice squad, and it did not include his name. The former Tiger is attempting to become the NFL’s first openly gay player, but he was cut when St. Louis announced its 53-man roster.
Unfortunately for Sam, the Rams kept nine defensive linemen, six of which were defensive ends, and are very deep up front on that side of the ball. That depth likely contributed to his absence on the practice squad as well.
Sam responded in kind and thanked the organization for the opportunity before setting the stage for what’s next:
I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to (1/2)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career (2/2)— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
The glass-half-full approach would suggest that Sam is now free to find a team with a need for a pass-rushing specialist and sign there. St. Louis’ defensive line is simply loaded with talent, so there are likely better opportunities going forward.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher commented on the situation and Sam, via Mike Foss of USA Today: “He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked, and you can’t ask for anything more out of any player for that matter.”
Sam is certainly talented enough to crack an NFL roster. You don’t win the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award by accident, and he racked up 11.5 sacks as a senior at Missouri in 2013. The next step is finding the right fit on a roster that has an open spot, either because of injury or a lack of talent.
For now, though, Sam may just pass the time attending WWE Raw in Baltimore.