Saturday, February 15, 2014

In Praise of Michael Sam - a Model NFL Player

It was a triumph of courage last week that Missouri defensive lineman and SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam publicly announced he is gay. Sam, who is expected to be a top pick in the NFL draft next week, has shattered an illusion and a barrier about homosexuality. And one of the nation's most intolerant clubs - the NFL - will soon have to face the issue that many thought might never happen. A gay man will be - publicly - in a professional locker room. There have, no doubt, been countless gay men in all levels of locker rooms before … and this should be no different. Alas, there is "controversy."

Perhaps the two best responses to the announcement that I've seen have come from broadcasters unafraid to speak the truth. First this from Daily Show host Jon Stewart:

And, then there was an even more powerful statement out of the heart of Texas:

Dale Hansen said it all when he addressed the hypocrisy of a sports world that believes there is no room  for a gay man.  The NFL has long had a problem with the criminal, violent, and inappropriate behavior of its players. It is a problem they have attempted to address, though it's been slow going. And then some have the audacity to believe and even articulate that the presence of a gay player in the locker would somehow be destructive and inappropriate because it would make people feel "uncomfortable."

And that must change.

Congrats to you, Michael Sam - a man among boys.

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