Now that Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam has come out publicly to say that he is gay, many are debating what it will do to his draft stock and how if it will affect how teams judge him. On Monday, it appears as though Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a short statement via Mike Prisuta on Twitter as it relates to the matter.
“We do not discriminate against any players based on their sexual orientation,” Colbert has announced per the Prisuta tweet.
If indeed this is a recent releases by Colbert, he is not alone in doing so as Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery also released a similar statement on Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In it, Emery said the following: “It is about his [Michael Sam] skill set as a football player to add positively to a team’s goals and that’s how he will be evaluated.”
Just last April, the NFL sent a memo to teams and players that reiterated the league’s sexual orientation anti-discrimination and harassment policy guidelines after some draft-eligible prospects said they were asked about their sexual orientation during meetings with teams at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
I’m sure that Colbert and Emery won’t be the only two general managers to release statements saying that they do not discriminate when it comes to sexual orientation of a player, but is it really necessary for them to do this? Is it really necessary for organizations to comment on this?