If national football fans are proven true, NFL draft prospect Michael Sam's announcement that he is gay won't make a difference.
According to the Marist Poll, which was done in conjunction with The Marist College Center for Sports Communication, 65 percent of national football fans — nearly two-thirds — believe Michael Sam's sexuality will not make a difference on where he is selected in the NFL draft; 25 percent think NFL franchises will be less likely to draft Sam; six percent said teams will be more likely to choose Sam and three percent said they were unsure.
"These results indicate that many football fans view professional football as a sport which is increasingly accepting of openly gay athletes," director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication Dr. Keith Strudler said. "They believe that Michael Sam's abilities, not his orientation, will determine his professional future."
According to the poll, 29 percent of men believed teams would be less likely to draft Sam, compared with 20 percent of women predicting the same scenario.
Ultimately, football fans won't be the decision makers once the NFL draft kicks off Thursday, but the results are interesting. Soon, we'll find out if NFL general managers think the same way fans do.