Football is a fierce, ultra masculine sport. And when you have a sport so deeply rooted in hyper-masculinity, it becomes hard to imagine a gay man playing and excelling in the sport especially when faced with the weak and effeminate stereotype most people associate with gay men.
Missouri defensive end and touted NFL prospect Michael Sam announced this week that he was “a proud gay man” to the world via ESPN. This announcement marked the first openly gay college football player and NFL prospect in history. This also ignited a linty of reaction not only from the media but also from possible teammates and coaches from the NFL.
The fact remains that he was a very efficient and talented defensive end. Actually he was the best defensive end in the SEC, which is widely considered the best conference in college football. So that makes him the best defensive player in the best college conference. No small feat.
But that still hasn’t made a difference to some people when it comes to their thoughts on this news.
Cue The Rant!
What makes my blood boil is people who get upset and say things like “Why is this news? Yes, he’s black….yes, he’s gay. But why is that so important??? Maybe it’s because I’m not apart of the LGBT community, but just don’t understand why this is relevant.“
Saying it’s not news is ignoring societal norms and the world around you. Asking why a guy coming out as gay on the eve of possibility being drafted into the NFL totally ignores the gravity of the situation. If you subscribe to the comments above, you are ignoring it because it makes you uncomfortable and resentful towards them. You are putting up a defense because you really don’t want to discuss or have come to grips with your homophobia. You are masking and shifting your emotions from what your true feelings are. You see, the emotion you really are trying to express is anger. You’re angry that the portrayal of the situation by the media seems to be favorable. It makes you upset that the media and others are celebrating what you view as “unnatural” or a “sin”.
You know, there were people all over the country back in the 1960s that said they same thing when blacks fought so hard to integrate schools and tried to patron whites only establishments.
The struggle for gay rights hold so many parallels to the civil rights movement. Both are essentially a group of people struggling to be accepted into normal society and fighting to get they rights they deserve. And one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen was not watching blacks being mistreated simply based off of false pretenses and tradition. The saddest thing I’ve ever seen is watching black people turn around and spew the same vitriol and hate with the same ferocity their white counterparts did to them. You can’t call yourself a christian and treat people like that. And you can’t be a thoughtful, rational person and turn around and do something like that.
Dallas sportcaster Dale Hansen gave his thoughts about this Michael Sam situation that I think is spot on and sums it up beautifully. And I, too, hope that one day we can get to the point where this won’t be news anymore. If you can’t accept him because of who he is then don’t be a hypocrite and say you can accept others even though some of their decisions were much more henious.
While your picking and choosing what parts of the bible you want to live your life by, remember tolerance is still one of the most important principles taught by Jesus. And even if your not religious, it’s still one of the best principles to believe in.
That’s it for this week. It’s Friday, and it’s Valentines Day. Don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.