Michael Sam was almost the last athlete chosen in the NFL draft. Sam was an all Southeastern Conference player from the University of Missouri, and an All American football player. Michael Sam is black, a great athlete and is out of the closet after the college season becoming the first gay player chosen in any NFL draft.
Sam will play for the St Louis Rams, a very good NFL team. The comments are flooding in including some not very flattering. There are people like Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones who tweeted “OMG”, and “horrible”. Jones is in trouble, and may have to endure some sensitivity training. Most the other players are wisely keeping quiet.
This opens up a whole new problem for the NFL. It seems they are adamant to accept gay players, and we all “know” there are some gay men on some of those teams. Else, why would they go around patting each other on the ass? This may result in more violence on and off the field.
How does the NFL control the violence on the field of play where men are paid to do violence to others? Will players go out of their way to rough up Sam? That’s what happens in high school, and probably in many colleges. People just don’t automatically give up their prejudices.
Will the locker rooms be partitioned into private showers? Will those three hundred pound tackles and guards think a gay player is sizing up their privates?
What happens in the bottom of a pile-up. Does the gay guy get it, or does the gay guy do the pinching and punching? There may be a whole new spectrum of on-the-field behavior developing.
It will be interesting to see how Michael Sam develops in the league. He is a terrific athlete, and he is certainly gay. I for one hope he makes the grade and all this publicity fades away.
photo from Wikipedia