If Michael Sam Wasn’t Gay, He Wouldn’t Have Been Drafted, Says Sen’Derrick Marks


Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks took a shot at the NFL’s opportunistic approaches this week, highlighting Michael Sam as an example.

The NFL is going to be bringing on a female officiant for the 2015 season and Marks made his opinion known about it, speaking with TMZ:

"It’s just like the Michael Sam situation — if he wasn’t gay, he would’ve gone undrafted. Instead the league drafts him because I think they are trying to monopolize on every aspect of the world … the same thing with hiring a female ref. – Jaguars DT Sen’Derrick Marks"

In light of Michael Sam’s poor showing during the inaugural NFL Veteran Combine, the statement makes sense. Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams before the 2014 regular season and later by the Dallas Cowboys. The former drafted him.

Bringing in a female official is big for the NFL and Mars was quick to note that he hopes she is successful, “especially as long as she knows what she is doing.”

It isn’t uncommon for NFL players to speak out about what the league is doing, but taking shots at progress in the officiating ranks and in taking a chance on a player who was co-SEC defensive player of the year may not be the best way to go about it. Michael Sam got a chance with an NFL team and it was a low risk proposition for the St. Louis Rams who potentially brought in a rotational player for their pass rush but instead found another option.

In the end, the NFL is a business and Michael Sam’s abilities simply aren’t good enough for an NFL team to invest in him. He was worth taking a look at, though. The vetting process for referees is more controlled by the NFL than what a team will do in the NFL Draft.

Bringing on Sarah Thomas is probably because she is a qualified official more than because she is a woman. She has earned her spot in the NFL and she will be just as successful as other officials on the NFL level. She will be held to the same high standard. Sometimes they get things right, sometimes they get things wrong. Most of the time they are right, though.

Marks gained a lot of attention in 2014 for his stellar play. Now, he should continue to let his play on the field speak for him. The hiring of Sarah Thomas seems more merit based than like an opportunistic move. The drafting of Michael Sam was warranted as well.

Shallow criticism, however, is not.

Next: Three Jags with Breakout Potential

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