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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Sam’

ESPN Gets the Memo on America’s Disinterest in Michael Sam’s Showering Habits

ESPN Michael Sam

We wanted to look the other way too.

ICYMI: The St. Louis Rams drafted a gay guy in the NFL draft this year. Many have discussed this fact. We blogged about it. Everyone is watching it.

However, most of us are also over it.

Michael Sam showed true courage, walked over a line, and took a stand for the LGBT community. And while everyone with a pulse and a non-blackened heart applauded him for that move then, we have all stopped clapping.

Why? It’s old news. ESPN, however, thought a story about Sam’s showering habits in the Rams’ locker room was necessary. A day later, they apologized because social media blew up.

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Tony Dungy Can’t Decide How He Feels About Michael Sam

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Today former NFL coach/current NFL analyst Tony Dungy had to issue a clarifying statement after an earlier quote he gave to the Tampa Tribune regarding the draft status of Michael Sam. Here’s what he said several weeks ago:

“I wouldn’t have taken him 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.”

Dungy didn’t clarify what those “things” were at the time, but we have a feeling that old NFL guys coming out of the woodwork to give their opinions would be one of them.

Today he issued a clarification that didn’t really clear things up at all.

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Damage Control, Sports Edition: Homophobic Vikings Coach Is Not Homophobic

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In case you missed it, now-former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe dragged the NFL into the 21st century kicking and screaming faster than you can say “Michael Sam” earlier this year by claiming that the team fired him not for his performance on the field but for his outspoken gay rights advocacy.

Kluwe hired a lawyer to help him make that point way back in January, and now the proverbial stuff is finally starting to hit the fan within the Vikings organization.

In short, Kluwe’s former special teams coach did indeed say that ““We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”

But his opinion doesn’t represent that of the larger organization. And he’s totes not homophobic in the first place.

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5 Tips for Creativity in Times of Crisis or Controversy

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Today we bring you a guest post by Howard Bragman, founder and chairman of Fifteen Minutes PR.

This post is part of an ongoing series.

Like many in our profession, I sometimes feel like the guy at the circus juggling plates on the ends of sticks. It looks precarious, but like the guy under the big top, I am happiest when there is a lot going on.

Over the past several years, I’ve had three primary jobs: 1.) Chairman and Founder of Fifteen Minutes, a Los Angeles-based PR firm that specializes in consumer brands, entertainment and crisis/controversy clients; 2.) Vice Chairman of Reputation.com, the largest and category-creating online reputation management company; and 3.) Network and cable broadcast news contributor, providing my take on the reputational events of the day.

My PR and crisis work often involves people and companies seeking to prevent or assuage a whirlwind of damaging press.

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Why Are There No Openly Gay Fortune 500 CEOs?

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Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times asked a very important question this morning: how did professional football–the very epitome of a traditional industry averse to change–embrace an openly gay personality before corporate America?

Her point is that, despite widely-accepted rumors about certain executives at certain tech companies, not one of the nation’s 1,000 biggest businesses has an openly gay CEO.

We asked Howard Bragman, Chairman of Fifteen Minutes PRwho happens to represent Michael Sam–for his take on the issue.

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Michael Sam’s Kiss Causes Dallas Show to Make National News

ktxdSee, that’s the problem with morning shows.

You get a bunch of people sitting around a table to focus on one subject. The problem with that dynamic is each person has their point of view and really don’t appreciate being put on blast for having said opinion. Sure, certain opinions may not be as popular as others, but don’t we all have a right — and a reason — to voice them?

This question was put on public display yesterday on Dallas’ own KTXD-TV 47 (London Broadcasting) and its morning staple “The Broadcast.” Yesterday, the quartet (seated from left to right) of Courtney Kerr (if you watch Bravo, that Courtney Kerr), Amy Kushnir (the woman making a dash for some fresh sanity), Suzie Humphreys, and Lisa Pinero, got into a heated conversation about Michael Sam and his much publicized, celebratory kiss on ESPN.

Annnnd that’s when Amy Kushnir excused herself from the set.  Read more

The NFL Is Now Officially LGBT-Friendly

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We’re all aware that Michael Sam just made history as the NFL‘s first openly gay player.

Beyond the shiny headlines, our own Shawn Paul Wood explained this morning that, while Sam’s signing is unquestionably a significant moment for the league and for pro sports in general, he’s really just a guy who plays great defense…and happens to be gay. Which is how it should be.

Since Fifteen Minutes PR CEO Howard Bragman first organized Sam’s announcement in February, we’ve heard many (anonymous) insiders speculate as to whether owners would take a risk on him. But for the Rams, the question seems to have been “what risk?”

Now we have our answer to a more interesting query: how will the corporate world and the league itself react?

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Michael Sam: The (Gay) Guy Who Could Change the NFL

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Get ready, haters. He’s coming to get your team!

FULL DISCLOSURE: As an avid baseball fan and blogger, I can’t stand the “He’s the Jackie Robinson of [insert this industry or sport].” Yet there is really no other way to describe the addition of Michael Sam to the NFL and the St. Louis Rams.

And before anything is said, can we just kill the noise about Jason Collins? He was a so-so player (at best) despite being drafted by the Nets in the first round. After travelling the continent as part of five different teams, he received attention in the twilight of his career for making an admittedly b0ld decision that still had very little to do with the way he played the game.

Again, Michael Sam is not that man. Let’s learn who he is…

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Michael Sam’s Publicist Shares Lessons Learned from His Coming Out Story

NCAA Football: Missouri at Indiana

We think you’ll agree that Fifteen Minutes PR chief and Reputation.com vice chairman Howard Bragman scored one of 2014′s biggest PR wins to date by breaking and managing the Michael Sam story.

He also happens to be a LinkedIn “influencer” who shared his lessons learned in a post earlier today. His key point: coming out is less about making news than “owning your truth”—which sounds like a great message management tagline.

So what are his universal PR lessons?

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Behind the Michael Sam ‘First Openly Gay Football Player’ Story

It was the perfect time to break the perfect sports story: one week after the biggest, most boring Super Bowl ever, a young man set to become an NFL pro told the media that he happens to be gay.

Of course it wasn’t just a spontaneous announcement from Michael Sam; it was a PR masterpiece of sorts orchestrated my one Howard Bragman, his agency Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, and many others.

You’ll note that Sam made sure to thank Bragman and Empire Athletes in his second-ever tweet:

Sam reached 50,000 followers faster than any account we’ve seen outside the Vatican—and most of the people who had problems with his announcement chose not to voice their opinions in public.

Now for some backstory behind this historic PR Win.

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