Ex-Football Player Takes Issue With Sam’s Kiss
Former New York Giants player Derrick Ward is outraged over ESPN's coverage of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after Sam learned he is the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the National Football League, the New York Daily News reports.
In a series of tweets, Ward, who retired in 2012, took issue with ESPN's decision to run footage of Sam planting a big one on his boo when it was announced he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams Saturday. Ward said it set a bad example for children.
"I'm sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv. I'm fine with it being a new day in age but for him to do that on...National tv is disgusting Gay or not," he wrote on May 10.
"Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can't believe ESPN even allowed that to happen," he continued. "The paring your tongue into the other persons mouth is a little over board. But people seen that as oh I'm bashing him because he's gay. Who cares!!!"
When Sam learned he was drafted into the NFL, and made history, he broke down in tears and kissed and embraced his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, who attended the University of Missouri with Sam and was on the school's swim team from 2009 to 2012, the Huffington Post notes.
Ward drew flack for his tweets, however. After slamming ESPN, he wrote, "Everyone who comments on my page saying what dude did was fine is getting blocked. So far I've blocked 10 people."
"About the persons sexual preference. But. That's America for u. All I can do is smile and say thank u for seeing things that aren't there!" Ward added. "I'll continue to speak my mind because it's my god given right and supposedly u can do it without being frowned upon here in America."
Officials from the Miami Dolphins fined the team's safety, Don Jones, for tweeting "horrible" shortly after the Rams drafted Sam.
"We were disappointed to read Don's tweets," coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. "They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program."
Watch a clip of Sam reacting to being drafted and kissing his boyfriend below: