Michael Sam trails only Johnny Manziel in rookie jersey sales after NFL draft

(Courtesy NFL) (Courtesy NFL)

Michael Sam may have been the eighth-to-last player taken in the NFL draft, but sales of his St. Louis Rams jersey are skyrocketing.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted, ranks second among players taken over the three days of the draft. He’s behind only Johnny Manziel, despite being drafted almost 48 hours after Manziel went to the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick in the first round. The No. 1 pick in the draft, Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney, is third, with Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles fourth and fifth. Until he is assigned a number, his jersey on NFL.com shows a 10.

“This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following draft weekend,” NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter told Outsports.com.

It’s unprecedented, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Sales of Jason Collins’s jersey skyrocketed shortly after Collins, who came out a year ago, signed with the Brooklyn Nets in February.

Michael Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. Upon hearing he was chosen by the St. Louis Rams, ESPN video of Sam's tearful reaction and kiss with his boyfriend went viral. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

 

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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