Former Minnesota Vikings player Chris
Kluwe hopes Michael Sam gets a fair chance to play in the NFL but
acknowledged Sunday that his sexual orientation might be a barrier.
Kluwe appeared on an ABC News This
Week panel to discuss Sam's prospects of getting in the NFL after
announcing last week that he's gay. Also joining host George
Stephanopoulos were Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated and Cyd
Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com.
“I think the NFL, as a player, looks
at him skeptically and I do think there's the dreaded word
distraction, George, that keeps coming up,” Thamel said.
“I think [sexual orientation will
make a difference] and I think it's unfortunate,” Kluwe said.
“Because there are general managers and executives that simply
believe this way and they're not going to change their mind[s].”
“It's our job as citizens to say
Michael Sam deserves a fair chance. Not because he's a gay football
player, but because he's a football player and he wants to go out and
play football,” he added.
Zeigler disagreed, saying that “we
media have brought the struggle to this story.”
“There is no evidence that this is
going to be a struggle. … Why is it going to be a struggle? Why
would it be any more so than for anybody else?” (The video is
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