I truly hope Michael Sam succeeds in the NFL. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the 249th overall selection (7th round – 256 total players selected) in the NFL draft. He seems to be an overachieving type of player (plays well with limited athletic ability). He also seems to be a high character person. But if the first openly gay person in the NFL really wants to be treated solely as a player and does not want to draw attention to his being gay (so he claims) then he should start by cleaning up the spectacle he displayed on draft day.
Sure, I can handle Sam getting emotional and kissing his boyfriend. But how many times do we see a draft pick at any level smashing cake on the face of their significant others and then using their tongues to lick it off on live television (I have watched many drafts and never seen anything quite disgusting)? And then Sam had the audacity to pronounce it would have been “homophobic” of the NFL if he went undrafted. Please keep in mind, most NFL Draft prognosticators had Sam rated as a priority free agent – meaning they thought he should not be drafted. And NFL prognosticators have nothing to do with the NFL – Is Sam saying they too are part of homophobic conspiracy? If Sam went undrafted, several teams would have been interested in his services as an undrafted free agent – So the homophobic statement by Sam is not only unnecessary and unfair, but polarizing. Sam’s statement is just as idiotic as those people who have said inflammatory things about Sam’s sexuality. If Sam wants to be treated solely as an NFL player, than he should shut up and start acting as one. He should start by not drawing attention to himself – it is that simple.
ESPN and the media outlets loved the Sam draft spectacle. ESPN must have played the Sam selection and celebration video over a dozen times the first hour after it happened. Is this what Sam wanted? Did he want his selection to be a spectacle? It sure seemed that way. After all, he knew people were filming the celebration.
Sam is the first openly gay person in the NFL, but surely he is not the first gay person in the NFL. The spotlight will continue to shine on Sam as he tries to make the Rams roster. It will be interesting to see if Sam continues to use his position to show he is a good football player or he is the first openly gay person in the NFL. In order to break barriers people must be treated the same regardless of sexual preference. And other than a few idiots the response to Sam has been overwhelmingly supportive. Hence, there is no barrier to overcome if a vast majority of the people are accepting of Sam and his sexuality. And if Sam continues to attract attention to himself because he is gay, then the media will continue to cover his story as such – making a story out of nothing because a majority of NFL players and Americans are supportive of Sam and want him to succeed. Hence, there is no barrier to overcome. But then again, there would be no story if the media did give the false perception that a majority of Americans do not like gay people.