EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara and chairman and executive vice president Steve Tisch each issued statements today in the wake of the announcement yesterday by Missouri defensive end Michael Sam that he is gay.
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Statement from John Mara: "I would just echo what the league and Zak DeOssie, one of our captains, have said in welcoming Michael into our league and supporting him as he attempts to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL. Our sport, our game, is the ultimate meritocracy. You earn your way with your ability. As Patrick Burke and Wade Davis constantly remind all of us, regardless of who you are, what your background is and what your personal or sexual orientation is, if you can play, you can play. Michael's announcement will not affect his position on our draft board."
Statement from Steve Tisch: "As I said last night, Michael Sam is a gifted athlete and a courageous man. I hope any NFL team would not hesitate to draft Michael if he is right for their team. Our game is the ultimate team game, and we often talk about how a team is a family. Regardless of where you are from, what your religious beliefs are, what your sexual orientation is, if you are good enough to be on the team, you are part of the family. How the University of Missouri and its football program embraced and supported Michael is a tremendous blueprint for all of us, but frankly, I think the lessons of our game also provide the same positive example."
After Sam's announcement last evening, the NFL issued the following: "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."
In April 2013, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent the NFL's sexual orientation anti-discrimination and harassment policy to all club presidents, coaches and general managers who made it available to all players and staff.
DeOssie (@zdeossie), one of the Giants team captains and its player representative, tweeted last night:
Best of luck in the draft @MikeSamFootball. #respect #YouCanPlay @YouCanPlayTeam
— Zak DeOssie (@zdeossie) February 10, 2014