I was away from the house all day and didn’t check my phone so I got home without any knowledge about NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam coming out publicly.
I think if this happened five years ago, it would have been a huge deal. But as the country and the world has changed, so has our perspective. I think the country has been ready for an athlete to come out and say that they are gay. It was just a matter of time when. We’ve had them come out post-career but this is one of a man who is beginning his career.
On one hand, I want to follow this story because it is important. It is a sign of the times. But on the other hand, we’ve come so long that we have to wonder if it is really news. I believe it is great news, but if we make it more than what it is, then we still don’t really treat and accept one another fairly and equally.
I do believe that Sam, who is the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has all the credentials to get drafted. I don’t even think that his scouting reports say he is not good enough to make it in the NFL. But will this announcement change how teams consider him? They know that by drafting him, the media attention will follow. Is that a deterrent?
Hopefully that won’t be the reason why people look the other way when considering Sam for the draft. Ultimately, as plenty of NFL people have already voiced, they will welcome him with open arms. If he can play football, then he belongs in the NFL.
Until then, I am curious as to how the media will cover this. It’s a story that is worth following. But once he gets drafted, which is what I expect, the story ends. No longer will he be identified as the gay NFL prospect. He will now be an NFL player.
People may or may not agree with his lifestyle and I am not the one to try to force one belief or another on them. There are plenty of people in the NFL and other sports who have different lifestyles. Some believe in different gods. Some don’t even believe a god exists. Some might hold different values. Yet we’ve accepted them because they can ball. The same should be given to Sam. His situation is unique and we’ll look at it as so for the time being. But after all that little phase is done, let’s treat him like we treat all the other athletes.
It’s a story that’s a real non-story. It should be covered as well as it shouldn’t receive all this attention. It’s important still.
I don’t know what he went through but it sounds like he is in a happy place. Good for him. He’s a good player and deserves a fair chance regardless of his lifestyle choice. When it comes to sports, we care about if the player can play. Sam can play. Let’s see where he will go in the draft.