Sam, Who Cares About Your Sexual Preference?

I knew this was going to happen.

The news that former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is gay holds significant social and cultural ramifications. But from a purely football perspective, his decision to come out prior to May’s NFL draft will make his path to the league daunting, eight NFL executives and coaches told SI.com.

In blunt terms, they project a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock, a publicity circus and an NFL locker room culture not prepared to deal with an openly gay player. Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was projected as a mid- to late-round draft pick prior to his announcement.

In typical activist fashion, Michael Sam’s coming out is more about his sexual preference rather than how he performed on the field, which is the opposite what he’d have us all concentrating about.

When Jason Collins came out, it was near what should have been the end of his career. Let’s be real, he was a professional bench-warmer and he may have thought his announcement would have raised his stock, but alas, National Basketball Association teams were only seeking players whom they thought would give them a (heaven forbid) better chance to win.

I’ve been following professional football now since I was a teenager and I can’t remember a team that was more interested in what went on off the field than on. Sam’s revelation is not going to make his team better positioned to win a division. NFL teams are funny as they tend to shy away from players who distract the team from achieving the paid ultimate goal: win a Super Bowl.

What I predicted at home last night was that the liberal-sports-media action line would be is if Michael Sam’s stock dropped because he made his off-the-field sexual preference public, the NFL would be smeared as homophobic and intolerant….

While none of the executives overtly condemned Sam’s decision, their opinions illuminated an NFL culture in which an openly gay player — from the draft room to the locker room — faces long odds and a lonely path.

The executives and coaches were granted anonymity by SI.com for their honesty. Their answers were consistently unsparing.

“I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” said an NFL player personnel assistant. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”

As I said, the yearly goal of an NFL team is to win a Super Bowl; not to show their trendy tolerance for what players do off the field. If Michael Sam thinks that should be his headline and is privately trying to drive up his stock by way of a perverted brand of blackmail, it won’t work and he should be careful of what he asks. When having gay players help NFL teams win Super Bowls purely because they are gay, the NFL will be all over them, pardon the pun.

Until then, a player’s sexual preference is an off-the-field distraction teams neither need nor want.

“By rewriting the script for countless young athletes, Michael has demonstrated the leadership that, along with his impressive skills on the field, makes him a natural fit for the NFL,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. “With acceptance of LGBT people rising across our coasts — in our schools, churches, and workplaces — it’s clear that America is ready for an openly gay football star.”

Should he be signed, will he like being asked how he felt every time he sacked another man? This can get out of hand which is exactly what an NFL team doesn’t want and in the long run, Sam may regret making his personal business public.

22 Responses

  1. FlameBait

    Hey, I came over here via a link on Dan Savage’s web site. Enjoy the comment and site hit–I won’t be back.

    Reply
    • Bob Parks

      Not sure what you’re talking about as that would mean it was worthy of my time. Should have known you’d chime in.

      Reply
      • Zoey0728

        Really? You’re this snide to someone who comments on your blog? If you’re going to be this sensitive, maybe you shouldn’t allow comments.

  2. Rey Buono

    Ever hear of Jackie Robinson, Bob? You would have been making the same snide comments about him.

    Reply
  3. Tallyman

    Gay is the media flavor d’jour. He’s a gay whore offering a combined package of his sexuality and his lesser developed football talents. He hopes the media will buy the package.

    Reply
  4. n.n

    So, he lacks merit, and instead demands to receive compensation for a voluntary behavior unrelated to the task, which enjoys momentary political leverage. What a guy. Extortion was never so boldly colored. Let’s watch which people and groups support this effort to normalize corruption.

    Reply
    • torrentprime

      “a first-team All-America selection and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year” He lacks merit? On what planet?
      And when did he demand compensation for having sex?

      Reply
    • torrentprime

      “a first-team All-America selection and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year” He lacks merit? On what planet?
      And when did he demand compensation for having sex?

      Reply
      • n.n

        He made his homosexual behavior the defining issue.

      • n.n

        He made his homosexual behavior the defining issue.

      • torrentprime

        So you agree both your statements on him not being qualified and asking for payment for having sex were lies. Awesome.
        And the only one making his orientation the “defining” issue is you.

      • torrentprime

        I’m sorry the discussion here causes you to reply with insults; I had expected more.

        I wish you the best.

      • torrentprime

        I’m sorry the discussion here causes you to reply with insults; I had expected more.

        I wish you the best.

      • urbanvrwcmom

        I didn’t like the patronizing tone of his second post.

      • Zoey0728

        Not trolling. You just don’t like what he has to say.

    • Zoey0728

      You need to educate yourself. There is nothing voluntary about being gay. People are born that way.

      Reply
  5. Richard White

    Well, I guess they still don’t teach critical thinking skills in college.

    Reply
    • urbanvrwcmom

      Thinking, much less critical thinking skills, aren’t taught in schools anymore. “Feeling” has replaced thinking.

      Reply

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