Our Views: Leadership on a team

John Elway is a football legend, executive vice president of the Denver Broncos franchise he led into the record books, and also an outspoken Republican, who campaigned for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

And he’s fine with Michael Sam coming out, saying the Missouri standout would be welcome at the Broncos organization, where he would be judged entirely on his character and abilities and not his sexual orientation.

We think Elway is just a bit wrong in his remarks, because he underestimates the way that the young lineman dealt with his teammates. When Sam told his teammates, last summer, it did not affect his standing with his team. Just look at what they accomplished, together.

What that statement did do was remove a potential distraction for the team, had Sam been “outed” in the course of the season. College athletes spend a lot of time together, on the field and at university; there are few secrets. In our view, Sam’s character as a football player was enhanced by a highly personal decision that also demonstrated a sense of responsibility to his team.

We wish him well.