(ESPN — Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from Missouri and the Associated Press’ SEC Defensive Player of the Year, said that he is gay in an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday.
Sam stated publicly what his teammates and coaches at Mizzou have known since August: “I am an openly, proud gay man.”
Sam is eligible for the NFL draft in May. Assuming that he is drafted, Sam could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL.
“I understand how big this is,” he said. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”)
Last night, I was was watching the tail end of the Cavs game (hey, 2 in a row!!) when I saw my phone start blowing up with the ESPN, USA Today, AP, etc. apps with this news. I want to say this is in the most sensitive way possible: I do not care.
It’s 2014, people. Why is this still news? Why are people so quick to label one another? Isn’t that the complete opposite of what our so-called “progressive” society tells us to do? Make a spectacle out of someone because they are different than some/most? I got some of this last night:
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) February 10, 2014
Big Cat makes a good point, the world doesn’t accept gays. It’s not a thought or opinion, it’s 100% fact. The only way that changes, though, is if people change their thinking of it. Equality is defined as being treated the same as everybody else. This is what everyone wants, right? I am happy for Michael Sam that he has come out and told the world something that he may have held back for years (even though he really came out in August), and that the outpouring of support he’s received certainly has helped his case. But why do we give a shit? Because we’re guilty of the way other people treat gays? What the fuck does some bible-thumper in Kansas (sorry, Kansas, it’s for argument’s sake) have to do with the way anyone else thinks? If we’re going to sit around and act like the most progressive and forward-thinking country on the planet, why create a media circus surrounding one player and how he chooses to live his life?
On paper, Michael Sam is a pretty good athlete, a little undersized for DT/DE while a little big for LB. He won defensive player of the year in the SEC (AP) and most have him going in the 3rd to 5th rounds. BUT, because he’s gay, many teams will (if they already haven’t) drop him off their draft boards because the media frenzy that comes with him is not worth it. What if he doesn’t pan out as a good enough player to make a team right away? Is it because he’s gay or because of his football talent? I have no doubt in my mind he’ll contribute in the NFL, watch his highlights, he’s a good player. But he shouldn’t have to worry about falling off of team’s boards because he’s gay.
There will always be evil in the world: it’s an inherent trait of the people on this planet. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should recognize them even when they are 100% wrong. We sensationalize backwards thinking in our media to make ourselves feel better. Sites like BuzzFeed THRIVE off of that. We’re always so quick to point out the hatred of our world and deem it wrong when the people who think the right way get overlooked. Homosexuality should be a 100% non-issue in this country nowadays. It’s a trait someone has. It’s like having blonde hair or blue eyes. I have brown eyes and black hair, you have brown hair and green eyes: WHO GIVES A SHIT? Does that make you any different than me? Absolutely not. It’s the same thing with your sexuality. I’m sure I went through every level of football where there was a gay kid on my team. I never thought about it once whether it be in the locker room, the bus, the dorms, or the field. People should not be judged by the way they look or what they do in the bedroom but rather by the value of their character and the level of respect they treat themselves and others.