By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit Lions rookie quarterback James Franklin spoke Sunday about his interactions with Michael Sam, a seventh-round draft pick who is the first openly gay player in the NFL. Franklin and Sam were teammates at Missouri, part of the group that in 2013 went to the SEC championship game and won the Cotton Bowl.
When Franklin saw that the St. Louis Rams had selected Sam, he contacted his former teammate to wish him well.
“I texted him and said congratulations,” Franklin said. “He said thanks and good luck in Detroit and everything. It’s just like everyone else on the team. There’s nothing really to it.”
Franklin said he was happy to see Sam get drafted, just as he was excited to see other teammates get drafted.
“It was really cool,” Franklin said. “I was actually, I had a little update on my phone, seeing all the players – I saw E.J. [Gaines] go there, to St. Louis, one of our corners, and then I saw him go there. It was pretty cool. Everything that he’s been through, and the stuff he had to go accomplish and overcome at Mizzou. He did a really good job and he deserved to get drafted.”
Franklin said there were no difficulties keeping the story of Sams’ sexuality under wraps during the season.
“No sir,” Franklin said. “Not at all.”