Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, as well as the first to subsequently be cut by an NFL team, may not wind up in the league this year, but he could end up on WWE ‘Raw’ next week. All he has to do is “
Bo-lieve” accept the pro wrestling company’s awkward invitation and show up in Baltimore on Friday, when the program will be taping.
— WWE (@WWE) September 2, 2014
The surprise television invitation came midway through Monday’s program and included a short rundown of the “young man’s story,” which ended with color commentator JBL stating, “I cannot understand why he’s not somewhere in the NFL, at least on a practice squad,” and inviting Sam to get on a WWE microphone to “tell his side of the story.”
Um… with that kind of pressure-laden, ambush invitation, I’d say Sam has a better chance of making an NFL practice squad at this point than showing up to presumably air his grievances on a theatrical sports entertainment program. While complimentary to Sam’s skills on the football field, the WWE’s invitation reeked of sleazy publicity stunt, which Sam has proven himself way too classy for.
Exhibit A: Here’s Sam’s response to being cut from the Rams’ roster on Saturday.
I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to (1/2) — Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career (2/2)
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues. — Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014
It’s really too bad the WWE made its invitation to Sam feel so downright uncomfortable because with just slightly different timing and, perhaps treating Sam less like a cheap headline ploy (and, yes, I see the irony of what’s happening as I write an article using that cheap headline), because Sam showing up on the program could’ve been great. Casting Sam down the line would’ve been genius. Some of the best WWE stars come from football backgrounds, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lex Luger, Junkyard Dog, Goldberg and one of today’s favorites, Roman Reigns. Alas, now that probably won’t ever happen.
Keep in mind, Michael Sam has only been invited to #Raw. WWE milking some publicity even if he doesn’t show.
— Tony Bravo (@RingsideRants) September 2, 2014
Michael Sam was invited to RAW….can’t wait for WWE to make this awkward for all of us. #RAW
— Jake Verterano (@JakeVerterano) September 2, 2014
— Leiche Fuhrer (@ABleedingCorpse) September 2, 2014
— Joe (@iamjoegarcia) September 2, 2014
This is wrestling, WWE. The Michael Sam story is extraordinary, but it doesn’t need you guys to leech off of it. Just say no, Michael.
— Geoff Tebbetts (@GeoffTebbetts) September 2, 2014