The Los Angeles Rams has denied drafting Michael Sam back in 2014 to avoid appearing on a TV show.
The Rams Coach Jeff Fisher, on Thursday denied the claims.
Unnamed sources told Howard Balzer, that the NFL had agreed not to feature the Rams on HBO series ‘Hard Knocks’ if they drafted Sam.
It was recently announced that the Rams will feature on the show, set to air this summer.
Sam, a former defensive tackle, was the first out gay player to be drafted to an NFL team.
Speaking to ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio programme, Fisher said the report was “absolutely absurd”.
“It’s 100% incorrect,” he said. “I was really taken aback by those comments. It’s insulting, from my standpoint, as it relates to Michael.
“We had three seventh-round picks. We drafted Michael, he was the best player on the board. Who in their right mind would think that you give up a draft choice to avoid doing something like that, something that I think that would benefit the organisation?”
Going on, Fisher said the claims were “really unfair” to Sam, saying he “worked so hard”.
Fisher continued: “He was the best player on the board.
“He worked so hard to try to make this football team. Obviously, we had a good defensive line. But really not fair to Michael because of all the hard work he put in as well.”
Sam became the first openly gay player in NFL history when he came out as gay in 2014 – and has since had brief spells with the NFL’s St Louis Rams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
However, he crashed out of the sport citing mental health issues, and has since re-enrolled in school.
Sam has since made a sad admission – that things might have gone better if he had just stayed in the closet.