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Michael Sam

Over the weekend, Michael Sam became the first openly gay man to be drafted by the NFL. Although he wasn’t in one of the top rounds, the St. Louis Rams still found potential in him. But not everyone was too happy about him being drafted, especially after ESPN captured him celebrating the phone call with his boyfriend.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Don Jones to tweeted “OMG” and “horrible”, which lead the Dolphins to fining him and banning him from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training. Jones later apologized for his comments. Another former NFL player also tweeted about Sam’s PDA with his boyfriend, but quickly backtracked and said he was talking about all PDA, not only in reference to gay men.

As much as people like to think the world is accepting of a person’s preference when it comes to who they share their love with, there’s still a population of people who are not. And you know, that’s their choice.  It’s also unfortunate that people still concern themselves with what goes on in someone else’s home, instead of tending to their own.

Michael Sam may be ready for the NFL, but is the NFL and its fans ready for him?

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  • Anthony

    First of all, we need to note that organized homophobia at its highest level in the USA has regularly been practiced by mainly white organizations such as the Republican Party, the Catholic, Southern Baptist, and Mormon Churches. The Boy Scouts are not exactly full of progressivism either. Of course, we could name lots of other powerful white or mainly white organizations that have actively discriminated against gay men. Compared to the power of these groups, the anti-gay tweets of exactly two football players in a 70% black league does not amount to evidence that somehow black men are the only demographic that has not learned to adjust to he new stature of gay people and gay relationships in this society.

    • Ask_Me

      The thing is no one here is debating whether or not other groups practice homophobia. I’m sure they do. But Michael Sam doesn’t belong to those other groups. Unless I missed something he looks black to me.

      If he were a white player I highly doubt the two black guys would have made their comments. I don’t recall black men saying a thing when Elton John, Ellen, Lance Bass etc came out the closet.

      However, Michael Sam and that gay basketball player have been bashed to no end by black men.

      Now we can pretend that the NFL and NBA are lily white sports, but statistics say something different. Michael Sam doesn’t have to worry about hatred from random strangers in ANY of the organizations you listed….but he DOES have to worry about it in the NFL.

      I don’t know anything about his personal life…but given his race…he will likely have to worry about it from HIS community….the black community.

    • Anthony

      Both Sam and Collins are gay men in leagues where respectively 70% and 80% of the players are black. In both cases, a decided minority of black men made public negative statements. In both cases, no major black stars made negative statements about openly gay players.

      As for Lance Bass and Elton John, what blacks run in their circles? Why would their coming out be relevant to black men?

      I do not spend time on Twitter at all. I do not know what some nobody who is probably bitter because he can’t ball s saying about gifted gay athletes. I seriously doubt if Jason Collins and Michael Sam give damn about some nobody who dogs them either.

    • Ask_Me

      You’re not on twitter are you?

      I missed the reaction to collins on twitter…but I didn’t miss the one to Sam. I’m here to tell you the majority of people spewing the hate was BLACK MEN.

      Do you think if Michael Sam played in a majority white sport the reaction from black men would be different? I don’t think so.

      Your point about famous whites who have come out of the closet not being relevant to black men reinforces my point.

      It’s pretty damn fruitless bringing up homophobia of whites, republicans etc because in all reality Michael Sam is probably not relevant to them. This might explain why we didn’t see the negative reactions from them. So this conversation SHOULD be about the black community and black men’s reaction to openly gay athletes.

      I don’t have the slightest clue as to why people want to deflect to other groups and their issues with gays when 1). Micheal Sam doesn’t belong to those other groups and 2). Michale Sam is playing in a sport where those other groups are a MINORITY.

    • Anthony

      If Michael Sam were irrelevant to whites his story would not have dominated the news cycle, especially on ESPN, since he was drafted on Saturday evening. He would not have been a cover story on Sports Illustrated a few months back either.

    • Ask_Me

      White people don’t give a damn about Michael Sam. I fully admit he is being used as a token for certain groups (i.e. Glaad and them) in a push for gay rights…but otherwise he is just as irrelevant to them as Wanda Sykes. Call him the flavor of the month if you will…today it’s him…tomorrow it will be someone else.

      But at the end of the day he has to share a locker room with black men. He has to travel with black men. He has to play with black men. He comes from a family of black people and I assume a community of black people. These are the people he will interact with everyday and they will likely have a greater impact on his life than anyone writing about him in the Advocate. He will likely seek acceptance from these people.

    • Anthony

      Michael Sam has already functioned quite well with locker rooms full of black men at Mizzou where he was a hell of a player. As many have noted, he came out to his team mates, and no one leaked his information. The fact that he is out has pretty much removed the power of gay taunts which would be more damaging to a man who is not comfortable with his sexuality. I doubt if there will be much in the way of physical intimidation, the dude is 6′ 2″ 260, that’s small for a NFL defensive end, but way too big for an easy ass kicking.

      His biggest issues would come from other teams, but the NFL has decided to punish anti-gay behavior. Sam probably won’t be hanging out with boys at all of the strip clubs on the Eastside, but the NFL is a business, and if Sam takes care of business, he will survive.

    • Ask_Me

      We shall see Anthony….coming out sure didn’t protect Collins from homophobic attacks by NBA players.

    • Anthony

      Cite the actual number of attacks by active NBA players against Jason Collins. It has been pretty small given the total number of brothers in the league. The truth us that most players do not have enough job security to be disruptive on a team, and attacking someone’s orientation can get a player in trouble with the league office. Star players have a huge incentive to project a tolerant image. Athletic clothing and shoe makers don’t want a known bigot as an endorser.

      These same factors apply to the NFL.

    • Ask_Me

      I don’t know the actual number…and I doubt we ever will know that number. We don’t know what that man has gone through…just because these things haven’t been made public doesn’t mean they haven’t happened.

      I’ll wait for the book…from both athletes once they fully retire. I guarantee it won’t be all smiles.

  • binks

    The simple fact is you are not going to please everybody especially with how you live your life. You are always going to have critics, “haters”, and intolerant people in all walks of life and spaces of life. But either you raise to the challenge and be you or let them deter you. Sure, some fans aren’t ready for Michael Sam but if Sam is passionate about football especially at this level the only one has to be ready is him. Furthermore, time has showed that people either deal with it, accept it or become indifferent.

  • CAsweetface

    I wish I understood why some people believe him being gay negates his ability to play. I don’t follow college sports but even my dad, who admittedly wasn’t jumping for joy by his gay admission, believed he should have been drafted in a higher round and was a good player. I hope he kills on the field and then maybe his sexuality will be an after thought. The only thing I will say is I’m not a big PDA lover and I’ve rarely seen other players kiss their gf’s so he was socking it to everyone with that kiss to his partner. Just my two cents…

    • Kai26

      I do not presume
      people believe Michael being gay negates his ability to play football. What it is really is that men are uncomfortable
      with a man who is gay having constant, close physical contact with other
      men. They are consumed by their
      fantasies of gay men being attracted to them and being objectified the way men objectify
      women.

  • Mary Burrell

    All that matters is if he is a good football player.