Jeff Fisher, a former NFL coach, retorts after he was accused of being pressured by Michael Sam to draft him.
Sam was the first openly-gay player to be drafted in the NFL.
The New York TimesJon Gruden, a ESPN employee at that time, reported that Fisher succumbed to pressure to draft Sam.
According to the New York Times, Gruden used a homophobic term to refer to Sam in the email.
In a statementFisher, the St. Louis Rams’ coach at the time, mentioned that Sam was the SEC Defensive Player-of-the Year in 2013.
“We selected him in the 2014 NFL Draft based on his defensive production and quick on-field skills,” said Fisher.
Fisher said that a player’s gender orientation “never” would have had an impact on the decision to draft a person.
Fisher also praised Sam’s coming out.
Fisher stated that Fisher had to have the courage to be a role model to gay football players.
Gruden was fired as Raiders head coach after The New York Times exposed the contents of emails.
He apologized for his mistake and stated that he had never meant to harm anyone.