Jeff Fisher is calling BS on Jon Gruden ... saying the coach was dead wrong when he claimed in an email that the NFL forced him and the Rams to draft Michael Sam.
Fisher released a lengthy statement late Tuesday night refuting Gruden's claim that Roger Goodell was the one who pressured the head coach to pick Sam in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft due to the pass rusher's sexual orientation.
"As a head coach for over 20 years," Fisher said, "we drafted or didn't draft players based on a variety of qualities. Their sexual orientation would never -- and should never -- play a part in the decision-making process."
Fisher added, "The NFL never encouraged or discouraged me regarding the selection of a potential prospect."
In one of Gruden's many crass emails sent between 2011 and 2018 that were made public this week ... Jon wrote to a Washington Football Team exec that he believed Goodell urged Fisher to take Sam because he was gay.
In the email, Gruden used an anti-gay slur to describe Sam.
Fisher said in his statement he's still a big supporter of Sam's ... and praised the courage it took for him to go public with his sexual preference.
"I continue to support Michael, and his decision to come out as the first draft eligible openly gay player in the league," Fisher said. "It took courage to serve as a role model for those competitive football players who may also happen to be gay."
Sam played in all four of the Rams' preseason games in his rookie year ... but was cut just before the regular season began. He later signed a contract to join the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, but was cut after just a few weeks there as well.
Sam never caught on in the league again, but did play in the CFL, becoming the first openly gay athlete in the Canadian league's history.