Michael Sam’s star power hit astronomical heights this past weekend when he became the NFL’s first openly gay player after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. And even though Sam was a third-day draft pick, reports claim that he already has one of the top-selling jerseys of the NFL rookies.
According to OutSports.com, Sam, who was the 249th pick in the seventh round of the 2014 Draft, has the second highest selling jersey of the rookies selected.
Sam’s jersey went on sale just hours after he was drafted, and even though NFLshop.com only features a blue sample of Sam’s jersey and the number 10 on the back, based on Sam’s place in the Rams’ draft selections (his official jersey number has yet to be chosen), fans have reportedly been buying the jerseys nonstop.
Making Sam’s sales number even more astonishing is the fact that everyone else in the top five jersey sellers list had their jerseys on sale 48 hours before Sam, meaning he skyrocketed past all but one of them, Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns, in sales in mere hours.
The other players in the top five include, in order, include Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans, Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings, and Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“This is unprecedented for a day three pick, let alone a seventh round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following Draft weekend,” said NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter.
Now that Sam has both a Visa endorsement deal and top selling jersey, we hope that it’s more than enough proof that an openly gay player can bring in both tons of fans and money into the league and be just as much of a superstar as his heterosexual counterparts. –nicholas robinson