Michael Sam didn't make the St. Louis Rams' 53-man roster. Sam, the first openly gay player ever to be drafted into the NFL, didn't make the Rams' 10-man practice squad either. No other team claimed Sam on waivers over the weekend and now he is a free agent who can sign with any practice squad. But that hasn't happened yet, and Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood thinks he has an idea about why that is.
After Ross Tucker of the NBC Sports Network wondered on Twitter why Sam hasn't been signed to a practice squad despite his solid performance in the preseason (11 tackles and three sacks), Wood pointed to ESPN.
@RossTuckerNFL blame that on espn. No one wants the distraction
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) August 31, 2014
Earlier last week, ESPN reporter Josina Anderson discussed Sam's showering habits when asked on "SportsCenter" about how he was fitting in with his teammates. ESPN later apologized for the report, saying in a statement that "we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports."
Despite the apology, Rams coach Jeff Fisher ripped ESPN and called Anderson's piece "very, very unprofessional." The awkward report also drew Rams defensive end Chris Long's attention.
Everyone but you is over it.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 26, 2014
After releasing Sam -- who spoke publicly about his sexuality for the first time in interview with ESPN and The New York Times back in February -- Fisher told reporters that the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year was not a distraction throughout the team's training camp.