Ex-NFL Coach: Michael Sam Is ‘Bringing Baggage’ To The Locker Room


In a disjointed interview on Sunday, former NFL head coach Herm Edwards compared Michael Sam’s sexual orientation to “off the field issues” and said the openly gay prospect will bring “baggage” to a locker room.

“When you go into the draft, look at it this way. Let’s say Michael Sams (sic) is not a gay player, but he’s a player that has some issues, off the field issues. The thing you talk about in the organization with the GM and obviously the owner is, can we handle this guy? Can we handle the media that’s going to come along with his situations?” Edwards, a former coach for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, said on ESPN.

“He’s bringing baggage into your locker room. So when you think about Michael Sams (sic), all the sudden, can the players handle the media attention they’re going to get when they get the question asked, ‘Are you OK with a gay teammate?’”

Edwards wasn’t the only one to voice concern about Sam. After the All-American defensive end came out publicly on Sunday, several anonymous NFL executives insisted that the announcement will hurt Sam’s stock in this year’s draft.

Deadspin has video of the Edwards interview.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.