The word being used over and over again in the rhetoric surrounding NFL hopeful Michael Sam and his recent declaration of his homosexuality is “distraction” and whether the announcement in and of itself will be one to any football team who drafts them. 

While a handful of anonymous individuals within NFL front offices have suggested that Sam’s homosexuality will be too much of a distraction for any team to overcome, many have argued that the term is simply white noise—that distractions don’t amount to or derive from anything. 

Former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth falls squarely in the second camp. Stallworth, who retired in 2012 after totaling 4,837 yards and 35 touchdowns in 10 seasons with six teams, knows a thing or two about distractions within an organization: In 2008, he was convicted of DUI manslaughter after hitting a pedestrian with his Bentley coupé and sentenced to 30 days in jail, in addition to a number of other mandates. He was also suspended by the NFL for the entire 2009 season.

Since retiring, he’s become a grounding voice on Twitter, something made quite apparent last night when he sounded off on the idea that NFL teams wouldn’t be able to handle the attention that comes with Sam. 

Photo via Donte Stallworth/Facebook