Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now
As far as we know, Michael Sam doesn’t actually have any connections to the Bay Area.
But his story is sure to be met with resounding approval and applause in a city as culturally progressive as San Francisco.
Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri who will enter April’s NFL draft, announced on Sunday in interviews both on ESPN and The New York Times that he’s gay.
Sam’s announcement is a landmark one in the sports world. There are no openly gay players in the National Football League and he’s expected to be a third- or fourth-round draft pick in April.
“I understand how big this is,” Sam told ESPN’s Chris Connelly (per Bleacher Report). “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be…I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
According to the NYT piece, Sam came out to his teammates before last season and decided now was the time to come out because he sensed that rumors were starting to circulate.
The 6’2” playmaker won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award in a conference that’s typically known for being stout defensively. So far Sam’s response has been received by an overwhelming amount of support.
The NFL's statement on NFL Draft Prospect Michael Sam announcing he's gay. >> pic.twitter.com/Mnz412VCnp— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 10, 2014
Klay Thompson is quickly evolving into the Warriors’ modern-day ironman.
Thompson in December shattered the franchise record for the most games played to start a career (179) previously held by Jamaal Wikes in the 1970s.
Tonight, the sharpshooter will play in his 200th consecutive game. His active streak is second only to Clipper DeAndre Jordan.
Last season, playoffs included, he started all 94 of the Warriors’ contests. At the moment, Thompson, who is averaging 18.6 points and 2.5 assists per game, has his eyes set on one basketball marathon-like record.
“The only one I know about is A.C. Green’s number, and that’s the one I’m chasing,” Thompson told the San Francisco Chronicle, in reference to Green’s NBA-record of 1,192 consecutive games.
The Warriors (30-21) are currently hanging on to the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff seed, two and a half games in front of ninth-place Memphis.
Anderson takes gold
Jamie Anderson, of South Lake Tahoe, won a gold medal in Sochi for Team USA in the Olympic slope style course on Sunday.
The 23-year-old emerged from the competition unscathed after an event that featured a handful of scary spills. Only seven of the 24 competitors navigated the new Olympics competition without a hand drag or a spill.
“I was freaking out,” Anderson told the Associated Press.
Only occasional freak-outs: @seanswaby