- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2014

The St. Louis Rams uniform jersey of defensive end Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, has cracked the top 10 in NFL jersey sales.

Sam’s No. 96 placed sixth in NFL jersey sales since April, ahead of QB legends Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

Sales of Sam’s jersey were likely fueled by supporters of the gay and lesbian community.

Johnny Manziel’s No. 2 Cleveland Browns jersey was the NFL’s best selling shirt during the first quarter of the league’s fiscal year.

Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson came in second in jersey sales, followed by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Seahawks cornerback Ruchard Sherman, ESPN reported.

Aside from Sam and Manziel, other rookies with best-selling jerseys included Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (No. 13), Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (No. 16) and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (No. 18).

While supporters propelled Sam’s jersey onto the top 10 list, he’s not without his NFL detractors.

Former Buccaneers and Colts head coach Tony Dungy said he wouldn’t have drafted the former University of Missouri star.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,’” Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth…things will happen.’’


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