Dimitroff: Orientation Will Not Affect How Falcons View Sam

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Just in case you were wondering.

Lots of folks have been giving their takes on Michael Sam this week: players, coaches, writers and talent evaluators.

An overwhelming majority of those voicing their opinions have been supportive of Sam's decision. The few that haven't, including Sam's own father, are clearly staying pretty quiet through all this. The only thing we've heard from a football standpoint: Adam Schefter (among others) reported that some NFL executives have felt that Sam's sexuality could be... *sigh* a "distraction."

However, it would seem that Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff does not find that to be an issue, based on what he said in a column by Jeff Schultz of the AJC (go ahead and give it a read). Here's an excerpt:

"But we’re not concerned over (potential) distractions over this situation... There’s such a wide range of opinion about what a distraction is in the NFL. It varies from one team to another."

The rest is mostly stock quote from Dimitroff, but he does go on to say something to the effect of "we wouldn't know how he'd fit into the locker room until he got here."

Suffice it to point out (Sam's pros and cons as a football player aside), I think Atlanta would be one of the better spots he could potentially land. And though this is just a hunch, I also feel like Dimitroff is the kind of exec that legitimately would not care about Sam's orientation when making the decision.

As far as this business of "distraction" goes: teams have hired former convicts, as Dave pointed out. At one point, the Patriots were dealing with the Tim Tebow and Aaron Hernandez media circuses at once, and they made the AFC Championship game. The Seahawks were supposedly dealing with "distractions" from Richard Sherman and they only obliterated the Broncos in the Superbowl.

On the other hand, the Falcons didn't have any notable distractions (or at least media-related ones) last season, and it ended in 4-12. There is no correlation between this and winning; it is a myth.

In the end, I believe Sam will be evaluated as the player he is - a former SEC Defensive Player of the Year with some technical flaws and on-field issues - and not as a question-mark off the field. And that's how it should be.

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