The big college football news of the day is the announcement from Missouri’s top Defensive End that he is gay. He is the first player to announce this openly, so that makes this news. Big news.
Sam will be going to the NFL in the upcoming draft and, prior to this announcement, he was anticipated to be a top draft pick. He is the full package of strength, speed, agility, aggressiveness, and intelligence every NFL coach wants to see out of a defensive end. He is the type of player that helps a team win. But now what?
Well, nothing is what. He’s gay. No big deal in my book. He didn’t announce he just tore all the ligaments in his knee. He announced something that has been a part of him since he was born. Nothing has changed. He is still all those amazing adjectives I said above. I do think there may be an owner or two out there who will want to pass on him in the draft. There will be a player or two who will be upset if he is on their team. Just google the UGA study done affectionately called ‘The Peter Meter” and see the real reason they might respond that way. Just sayin!
Ok, so, there are some naysayers (cough, cough, homophobes, cough, cough) out there who will say he should not play. You know, if Sam slaps another guy on the butt for doing a good job, what will it mean? If he tackles someone and doesn’t get up fast enough, then what? Oh, and don’t get me started on the locker room. How can straight guys shower next to a gay guy! Blasphemy!!
You know, back in the day, people said African-Americans would ruin the locker room too. Yea, not so much.
I love the fact Michael Sam told his Mizzou teammates before the season started this past fall and no one leaked anything to the press. It didn’t tear the team apart. It didn’t prevent guys from slapping Sam on the butt and telling him good job. Mizzou had a fantastic season and Sam had a big role in that.
The reality is, this should not be news. It’s 2014, not 1990. Things have changed but obviously not enough. I’m so proud and amazed Michael Sam felt the need and ‘comfort’ to let everyone know. This will hopefully continue to open doors for people just not to care about sexual preference any more than they care about whether your shoe size is a 12 or a 13. This shouldn’t be news anymore and I look forward to the day that it’s not.