Michael Sam made a bold move last week when he came out and announced to the world he was gay. The media has made a hailstorm of his announcement and everyone is telling us what is going to happen in the upcoming NFL draft because of his announcement. It seems everywhere I look there is an opinion about this young man's announcing his homosexuality.
He told his teammates and coaches in August, and it was not a big deal. He writes in Sports Illustrated how he wanted to stay ahead of this announcement and not have it come out in some sleazy way by an unscrupulous reporter. I have been thinking about it for several days, and decided to put my two cents in.
In polling one anonymous group of fifty-one NFL players, (by the way, an NFL roster has fifty-three players), forty-four of them said they would have no problem sharing a locker room with Michael Sam.
Again anonymously, an NFL executive made a statement to the effect that society may be ready to have an openly gay football player, but he doubted the NFL was ready for it. He said it was something about having a testosterone overloaded locker room filled with players, trainers, equipment people, coaches and the like could not tone down their foul language, derogatory anti-gay slurs and jokes to accommodate a nonthreatening work environment for young Mr. Sam. It sounds like a huge excuse to me.
I have included the cover of February 17th's Sports Illustrated to show you how intense a football player can be while he helped his Missouri Tigers beat Texas A& M and Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl just a few weeks ago:
Missouri finished it's season with an impressive 12-2 record and a number five ranking in the final polls. With the NFL scouting combine coming up in Indianapolis in a few days and the NFL draft in May, his selection status is being questioned because of his announcement. He was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the last seven, and eight out of the last nine SEC Defensive Players of the Year were all drafted in the first round. The only one not drafted in the first round went in the second round. Sam is being projected as a third to fifth rounder, if that! Some experts are even predicting he may not get drafted at all!
It is interesting to note that Chris Kluwe, the former Minnesota Vikings punter, who has been an advocate for gay rights and same-sex marriages was let go by the Vikings and has not been able to find another job in the NFL. Kluwe is convinced the reason no other team wants to hire him is because of his outspokenness for same-sex marriage.
In the NBA, after Jason Collins made his announcement about being gay, he has not been able to find a team who will take him on their roster.
It is incomprehensible to me how professional sports has not caught up with the rest of the country and this important Civil Rights issue when several prominent former athletes have come out of the closet and done tremendous work in getting this issue accepted by the main section of society. Billie Jean King is an excellent example to show what someone can do when they set their mind to it and educate people about homosexuality.
I could name several more, but I think you get my point. When roughly 10% of the population is homosexual and they cannot be accepted based on their gender preference, we have a sad state of affairs in our so-called "Everybody is equal" country.
As always, I look forward to your comments.