ESPN's Michael Sam Coverage Creates Controversy, Prompts Backlash From Teammates

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Football history was made back in May when Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, making him the first openly gay man selected in an NFL draft.

Michael Sam Image

There was immediate backlash from homophobic fans who complained when television coverage showed Sam kissing his boyfriend after receiving news that he'd been chosen by the Rams.

Now, it seems the pendulum has swung in the other direction, as supporters of Sam and LGBT rights are complaining that ESPN is devoting too much time and attention to Sam's sexual preference.

Following a SportsCenter report in which correspondent Josina Anderson stated that Sam is "respecting the space" of his teammates by showering privately, Twitter exploded with criticism, and Rams defensive end Chris Long led the charge:

"Dear ESPN," Long tweeted. "Everyone but you is over it."

ESPN has since defended its coverage in an official statement, claiming, "In response to recent questions about Sam fitting in with the team, multiple Rams brought up the shower topic and we relayed the information as part of our reporting."

Sam has yet to respond to the questionable coverage. He's scheduled to make his regular season debut on September 7 in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. 

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