Michael Sam, NFL’s First Openly-Gay Player, Sells More Jerseys Than First Draft Pick
Michael Sam, professional football’s first openly-gay player, may have been the 249th rookie selected in last week’s NFL’s draft, but his jersey sales bested Jadeveon Clowney, the overall first-draft pick.
Sam, the eighth-to-last draft pick, reveled in having the second-best in jersey sales, only trailing behind Johnny Manziel, the 22nd pick overall, TalkingPointsMemo wrote.”This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following Draft weekend,” NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter said of Sam’s jersey sales.
Following Sam and Manziel, Clowney ranked No. 3 in jersey sales. Teddy Bridgewater (32nd overall) and Blake Bortles (3rd overall) took fourth and fifth place, respectively. But here’s the plot twist: Sam’s jerseys were up for sale two days after Clowney’s, Bridgewater’s, and Bortles’ jerseys were launched and he still kicked their rookie butts in sales.
“Sam’s jersey didn’t go on sale until Saturday night while jerseys for Manziel, Clowney, Bridgewater and Bortles were all available Thursday when they were drafted six rounds earlier,” CBS Sports said.
“We think this is a sign of what we’ve been saying all along,” Sam’s agent Cameron Weiss told ESPN, “that Michael’s inclusion in the NFL is bringing fans into the game who weren’t previously consumers of the NFL game.”
And here’s a cool tidbit: All these jerseys were bought without the consumers knowing the official number of the player, LA Times explained (It’s 96, and now they’re on sale with that number). A rookie’s jersey will not be shipped to the buyer until his team informs the NFL of his number.
Sam caused a bit of controversy for kissing his significant other on TV during draft day, but it’s his fellow players who ended up getting the backlash, with Dolphins’ Don Jones getting fined and excused for educational training. He has apologized for his comments.
Good luck Sam!