When Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th and final round of the 2014 NFL draft, the media exploded, twitter trended and supporters of the LGBT equality cheered. The first openly gay player was now going to be out in the open and on a professional football team and it marked a major moment when it comes to civil rights. With any story of controversy also comes those who aren't too happy about the situation. Fox News hasn't exactly been the beacon of support for the LGBT community and the story of Michael Sam is no different.
Earlier in the week, former NFL coach Tony Dungy was criticized after he said he wouldn't have drafted Sam because of the heavy amount of media attention and possible distraction that would have been brought to his team. During Wednesday's episode of Fox & Friends, the hosts spoke about the issue, leading to Brian Kilmeade comparing Michael Sam and the distraction he may bring to the team, to bringing Michael Vick on board who has previously been sent to jail for his involvement in a dog fighting.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Sure, is the distraction bigger than what will occur on field? But he’s getting slammed. Tony Dungy is getting abused in the media. It’s a fact that this story is a big deal in the media. You know, Michael Sam, did he make it a big deal? Who knows?
Co-host Steve Doocy also chimed in, noting that Dungy had previously been criticized for helping Michael Vick get back on track and returning to the NFL after he spent nearly two years in prison. Kilmeade agreed, noting that Vick brought just as a distraction to the team as Sam will.
Doocy: On the Twitterverse, they're saying he's a hyprocite. When you look, for instance, at Michael Vick. He completely rehabbed himself, right, via Tony Dungy.
Hasselbeck: You know, 32 teams had seven chances to say yes or no to Michael Sam, right? And all but one time in those seven rounds of the draft, teams said no. They said exactly the same thing that Tony Dungy said when asked by Tampa Bay.
Kilmeade: And Michael Sam said I'm a fan of Tony Dungy and I'm glad the Rams don't feel like he did. But Steve, to your point, Michael Vick coming out of prison, he was a distraction in the locker room because that's a major story every time you walk in.
It's apples to oranges. There will be media attention when Sam gets on the field, but to compare the first game of the first openly gay player to that of a convicted criminal who has just been released from prison is a bridge to far, even for Fox News.