Well it’s been a long time coming, but we now have our first openly gay athlete in one of the Country’s big four sports. True Mr. Sam has not yet been drafted, but he will be- and if he’s not we will know that the NFL is far less evolved than they would have us all believe (this opinion is based on his on-field performance only).
It seems that within seconds after the news broke, every news organization in the world was jumping up and down to give us their two cents on the whole situation. Most said that he hurt his draft stock with the announcement and many unnamed NFL sources (real big balls these guys have huh?) were reported saying that drafting Sam would prove to be a negative for said team. While it is true that there are some NFL teams that could not handle having an openly gay player on their team, maybe because of the region of the country they play in (Carolina, Texas, etc…) or because their locker room is already in such disarray that adding ANY player with a red flag would be disastrous (I’m looking at you Miami). But there are plenty of franchises that are located in progressive regions, have a strong owner/ coach/ management structure, and solid locker room culture (San Fran, NE, GB to name a few) that could not only handle the situation, but even benefit from it.
How would having all this extra media attention and potential locker room tension be a bonus for a team you ask? Well those things wouldn’t happen with some teams. A strong coach/ management team would shut down the media right away (think New England with the Time Lord and Hernandez situations) and strong leaders in the locker room would shut down any player vs. player tension that may arise. The real benefit could come on the field when Sam lines up against some hyper-religious tackle that is afraid he might catch the gays from touching him. Or better yet, imagine Sam lining up about five yards from a bible thumper QB like Drew Brees or Russell Wilson (I don’t have any evidence that these two are anti-gay, but make this assumption based on the rhetoric that comes out of the church on a daily basis) and talking trash like, “Hey pal, just you wait, I’m gonna be laying on top of you in about three seconds…” Any player that has been brainwashed into thinking that being gay is some sort of contagious disease would be audibling to a middle draw on third and fifteen every time in fear of catching it.
There you have it Michael Sam is gay, good for him. He’s also a pretty darn good football player and deserves the opportunity to win a job on some NFL team somewhere (I mean if Tebow got three shots, this guy deserves at least two).
My real name is not Vinny, it’s Dave Monte and I hope the NFL old boys club is really as progressive as they pretend to be.