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Donte' Stallworth: If NFL team can't handle Michael Sam, 'team is already a loser on the field'

“If any NFL team can’t ‘handle the media coverage’ of drafting Sam, then your team is already a loser on the field," former wide receiver says on Twitter.

By Evan Bleier
Donte' Stallworth: If NFL team can't handle Michael Sam, 'team is already a loser on the field'
Former NFL wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (UPI Photo/Alexis C. Glenn) | License Photo

MIAMI, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Former NFL player Donte' Stallworth came out in support of gay NFL hopeful Michael Sam after ESPN analyst Herm Edwards and others questioned whether the defensive player’s sexual orientation would affect his draft status.

“If any NFL team can’t ‘handle the media coverage’ of drafting Sam, then your team is already a loser on the field… let me tell you why,” Stallworth wrote in a series of tweets.

“There are a multitude of issues that can arise in the long duration of an NFL season … some on the field, some off the field. You won’t have any idea what that on the field/off the field situation is until it’s already upon you and the entire organization, which means that with drafting Michael Sam, you get a jump start on controlling the ‘media coverage’ right from the onset.”

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“If an organization is inept to the magnitude of not being able to control things with prior knowledge, how will you handle the unexpected? Case Study 1: The Miami Dolphins and the bullying scandal … players talked more about THAT than they did football… for weeks! During that time I questioned (tweeted) why the Dolphins players were talking more about the scandal than their next opponent. Since the bullying story broke, the Dolphins finished the season 4-4 (with) playoff hopes still alive, got spanked by division (opponent) Jets, 20-7.”

In addition to playing for the Redskins and Browns, Stallworth was also a member of the New England Patriots. Owner Robert Kraft told the Boston Herald that Sam would be welcomed in New England -- if he can play.

“We’re about winning,” Kraft said. “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference. If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here…If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system. He’d gain strength by being in here. And it wouldn’t be divisive and he’d make friends for life and they could help him win.”

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Stallworth seems to agree that Sam could fit in with the Patriots.

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[Boston Herald]

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