Updated Feb 14, 2014 - 10:25 am
Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim: Michael Sam's sexuality not an issue in evaluation
Now, Sam is one of the biggest stories on television news programs and sports radio stations around the country because the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year publicly announced he's gay.
When he's drafted in May, Sam will become the first openly gay player in the National Football League.
There has been much speculation about how a pro locker room will accept an openly gay player and whether or not his announcement will affect his draft stock.
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was a guest of Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday and talked about what his evaluation process of Sam will consist of.
"I want to make this perfectly clear -- every player that we evaluate for the upcoming draft, we judge them on their physical skill set, we judge them on their football character, we judge them on their ability to learn and process and we judge them on their medical history," Keim said. "Race, religion and sexual orientation -- those aspects are never even brought into the process.
"So what I'm concerned about is how talented is Michael Sam? Is he a good teammate? Is he good in the locker room? Is he smart? Is he competitive and what does his medical history look like?"
Of course, a lot of that information has yet to be obtained by Keim and his staff; that process will happen during the NFL Draft Combine later this month in Indianapolis.
Sam led his Missouri team with 11.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss while forcing two fumbles and returning one for a touchdown in a 41-26 win over Georgia. Sam helped Mizzou to an SEC East championship while earning unanimous All-American honors.
Yet, he's projected to be a mid-round pick in May. Publications who have dropped Sam's stock say it's because of his lack of ideal size and a lackluster showing at the Senior Bowl.
But for Keim and the Cardinals, the Texas native's sexuality has nothing to do with the evaluation process.
"If he's a good teammate and he's a good person, he's going to be fine in your locker room because his teammates are going to accept him for the person and the player he is -- not those other things," he said. "We will look at Michael Sam no differently than any other player in this draft."
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
Schedule for the week
Dave Tippett and Lon Babby are in-studio on Tuesday for Newsmakers Week.
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Friday and the full week
- Greg Byrne: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part two
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part one
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Thursday
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Wednesday
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Tuesday
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Monday
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Bryan Sperber, PIR President - Friday February 14PIR president Bryan Sperber closes out Newsmakers Week with Doug and Wolf.
- Greg Byrne, UA Athletic Director - Friday February 14Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne sits in on Newsmakers Week.
- Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals GM - Friday February 14Cardinals GM Steve Keim joins Newsmakers Week.
- Kevin Guy, Arizona Rattlers Head Coach - Thursday February 13What should the NFL implement from arena football?
- Herb Sendek, Head Coach ASU Basketball - Thursday February 13Can ASU make the tournament in March?
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday February 13When does Derrick Hall think things will heat up with the Dodgers?
- Brian Mueller, GCU President - Thursday February 13Brian Mueller explains what attracts athletes to GCU.
- Jim Pitman, Mercury General Manager - Thursday February 13How do things look on the business side of the Mercury organization?
- Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director - Wednesday February 12Ray Anderson explains why he took the job at ASU.
- Jason Rowley, Suns President - Wednesday February 12Where are the Suns trending financially?
- Jerry Colangelo, Godfather of Phoenix Sports - Wednesday February 12Jerry Colangelo comes in studio for an entire hour!
- Dan Majerle, Head Coach GCU Basketball - Wednesday February 12Dan Majerle explains the recruiting process.
- David Rousseau, AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman - Tuesday February 11Find out how Glendale is preparing right now to host next year's Super Bowl.
- Lon Babby, Suns President of Operations - Tuesday February 11Eric Bledsoe's future with the team and the relationship between the Suns and Dan Majerle.
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Tuesday February 11Dave spends his Olympic break with us in studio to discuss the playoff race his team is in.
- Tim Esmay, ASU baseball coach - Tuesday February 11Tim describes the competitive nature in recruiting high school athletes.
- Tom King, 2014 Waste Managment Phoenix Open Chairman - Tuesday February 11Tom explains how the Phoenix Open continues to be a huge success year after year.
- Charli Turner Thorne, ASU Women's basketball head coach - Monday February 10How is the women's basketball program at ASU doing?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Monday February 10The D-backs made moves on the mound
- Jeff Hornacek, Suns Head Coach - Monday February 10Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek joins Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week.
- Keith Baker, GCU Athletic Director - Monday February 10How long until GCU can make the NCAA tournament?
- George Gosbee Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner - Monday February 10Live update from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week
D&W talk to all the top decision makers in Arizona sports.