In one of the leaked emails that led to his resignation with the Raiders, Jon Gruden claimed that the NFL pressured Jeff Fisher to pick “gays” in the draft, referring to Michael Sam
Former head coach of the St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams, Jeff Fisher, denied on Tuesday that the NFL will pressure his team to draft in the 2014 draft Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be selected during the league’s annual college draft.
In a post via social media, Fisher stated that Sam he was recruited solely on the basis of his defensive production and ability to pressure quarterbacks on the field of play.
Jumping on Twitter to clarify the below.
Hope everyone is doing good.😎👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/4bqFDUYSR6
– Jeff Fisher (@CoachJeffFisher) October 13, 2021
“Michael Sam it was SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and we selected it in the NFL Draft 2014 based on his defensive production and skill set to pressure the quarterback on the field.
“As a head coach for more than 20 years, we do or do not recruit players based on a variety of qualities. Their sexual orientation never played – and should never play – part in the decision-making process.
“I continue to support Michael, and his decision to come out as the first openly gay draft-eligible player in the league. It took courage to serve as a role model for those competitive football players who might also be gay.
“Finally, the NFL He never encouraged or discouraged me from selecting a potential prospect. “
Clarification of Fisher It comes a day after The New York Times revealed a series of emails sent by the now-former head coach of Las vegas raiders to the then president of the Washington Football Team, Bruce Allen, where he used misogynistic, racist and anti-gay language over the course of several years. The emails came to light as part of an investigation of the NFL to the work culture within the franchise of Washington.
Among the messages reviewed by the Times, Gruden wrote to Allen that the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, I shouldn’t have pressured Fisher, to recruit “gays”, referring to Sam and that 2014 draft.
The disclosure of the messages led to the resignation of Gruden as head coach of the Raiders the same Monday night.
Fisher led the Rams from 2021 to 2016. Sam, a product of Missouri who got honors like All-American In his final collegiate campaign, he was selected in the seventh round with the 249th overall draft pick by the Rams. Shortly after completing his college career, and prior to the draft, he publicly declared himself gay.
In the NFL, was in the practice squad of the Rams and of the Dallas cowboys, although he never made his debut in an official game, and eventually played a season in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes.
In 2014, Sam received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.