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  • Backlash    May 12 
ESPN on Michael Sam's kiss: We weren't making a 'political statement'
Screenshot/YouTube
Screenshot/YouTube

When Michael Sam got the call saying he'd been drafted by the St. Louis Rams — thus making him the NFL's first openly-gay player — he broke into tears and kissed his boyfriend. Then the backlash began from some less-tolerant fans who were outraged that ESPN would air the spontaneous embrace.

Well, ESPN has responded to the complaints, with producer Seth Markman saying the network was "there to document the moment, not make a political statement."

"In the truck, we were only saying, 'Wow, this is great emotion here,'" Markman told The Associated Press. "No one stepped up and said, 'Oh, wow, do we really want to be showing this?'"

The kiss, he added, was "just another moment in the years we've done this."

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