A Brave New World

Michael Sam with Missouri Team mates before taking the field

We recently had a new story break about Michael Sam from Missouri where he decided to come out and admit he was openly gay to the media. He told his teammates earlier before the season and was supported and accepted for what he had to say. While everyone involved will say there were no ill feelings or problems from some other players. I have trouble believing this because there is nowhere in the world where someone who doesn’t like it, or disagree with it will keep their mouth shut. I am sure individual issues were handled and dealt with in a quiet fashion as not to make it any tougher on Michael Sam. Since his announcement, there has been a very wide range of opinions and thoughts about the subject. Some have been very positive, and some have been very negative, but for the most part they have been more positive.

As a sports fan, the question here will not be about his sexual orientation, but more about his performance and ability to be a solid player at the next level. Will he be accepted into an NFL locker room? Will the fans of a team which drafts him accept him? We will not know these answers until the start of next season. We have all sat in the stands and heard fans (sometimes not sober) yell various slurs and choice words at players they don’t like. Will those fans now yell those things at someone on their own team? This is a very complex subject and in society a lot of people just takes the “I don’t care either way” approach, but when it comes to sports, there is a lot more passion and emotion involved.

We are venturing into a whole new world as sports fans, as well as Michael Sam having to face the challenges of walking into a locker room and possibly being shunned and ostracized. But then this also opens up athletes from other sports who may have been hiding this whole time to possibly come out and announce their real identity. If you want to put it to basic football, any team who takes Michael Sam will get a good player who could possibly be a great player. Yes they say he is undersized and he would probably a late round draft pick. But now unnamed executives want to say he won’t get drafted at all after this announcement, which is wrong, because you will gladly draft players who have had drunk driving convictions, been accused of rape or even theft and those guys get a pass? But one guy comes out in a public manner to be happy and be the best player he can possibly be. And you will say he won’t get drafted? Something does seem wrong with this picture…

I would rather see my favorite teams have a player who comes out as a homosexual and stay off the police scanner than bring in a kid who raped, stole items or beat his girlfriend. There is a better sense of pride for fans when the players are of high character and not in trouble with the law. But other people would rather have a first round draft pick who was accused of domestic violence than draft a guy who will live a quiet life with another man than spend all his time out causing more trouble. Obviously it is okay to steal, rape and beat your girlfriend than it is to be homosexual…and that is where a problem lies as a whole, but that is not for this blog…

No matter what side of the fence you are on about this subject, it is a very safe bet there will be more players “coming out” because one guy took the bold step to do it first and that will make it easier for others to follow suit. Maybe it won’t happen in the next year, but fans better get ready to accept the fact there will be gay players in the sports they love. Sports has always been perceived as “Macho” and “manly”, some will think accepting gays into sports will soften them to a point where they are unwatchable. This really should be a non-issue and all merit should be based on how the player performs on the field. As a sports fan, I applaud Michael Sam for taking this courageous step and I hope he will get drafted and have a long successful career, because at the end of the day it is about his performance on the field, not who he is attracted to.

3 thoughts on “A Brave New World

  1. Great job Kody. Yes, a touchy subject but you handled it objectively and it was written with style my man. One of your best.

  2. NFL players are much more accepting of teammates than the media gives them credit for. Just look at Sam’s teammates in college. This will be a non story once the season starts.

  3. Pingback: A Brave New World - BallHyped Blog Network, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

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