Former Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis was trying to make a point when he joined KESN-FM on Tuesday to discuss Michael Sam, but he may have created more confusion.
Ellis raised the point about teammates giving each other the pat on the butt after a good play. Ellis wanted to know how that should be received if Sam, the openly gay defensive end, decides to pat his teammate after a good play.
He has to be careful. He has to come in, close his mouth.
If he pats somebody on the butt — I hope ESPN don’t get mad and never have me back — but if he pats somebody on the butt, how is that to be received? If he does that how is that to be received? If he said, ‘Come on baby’? I called guys baby all the time on the football field, but when you have taken a stand and went and go public and say that, ‘I am gay,’ how is that going to be received?
People who’ve never been in an NFL shower room, not just locker room, it’s a open room. We don’t have private curtains. It’s just an open-form shower, so everybody sees each in the nude. Well if you’re looking at men as if you’re looking at women or vice versa, how are those guys to receive that? I don’t know. I don’t know how they will receive that.
“I think it would be totally different than what it is right now. I think those years made a lot of difference in the current day NFL. But still, a universal rule in my opinion is that it’s going to affect the football team. I don’t care how we look at this, it’s going to affect the football team. And one of the biggest reasons why it’s going to affect the football team, he’s not a proven player. Teams and guys have a lot of tendency to accept a lot of things if they feel like, ‘Nobody done like him, but nobody can do what he can do.’ If it’s your quarterback and he’s playing like Peyton Manning you’re going to have find a way to say, ‘We’re going to overlook that because we’re trying to win football games.’ But when you’re coming in as an unproven rookie, you won’t have that card to pull because you’re unproven. He has to be careful. He has to come in, close his mouth. It should’ve never came out. I know half the people will say, ‘Why not?’ Because it hurts his opportunity to be welcome into a football club.”
Again he didn’t slam Sam, so Ellis shouldn’t be roasted for simply stating his opinion.
It allows for good dialouge, and you’d be a fool to not believe one of Michael Sam’s teammates won’t freak out the first times he gives him a pat on the butt for making a good play.