Missouri defensive end Michael Sam does not only potentially represent the first publicly gay player in the NFL but a pathway to complete acceptance of homosexuality within society.
During an exercise created by football coaches at the University of Missouri, players were asked to share with the other players why they chose Missouri and something that may be unknown to other players. Michael Sam, an All-American football player with high career prospects, said, “I’m gay.”
According to an article written on Yahoo Sports, Sam’s expressed sexual preference has had no affect on the team and Sam’s teammates had kept his secret until he ready to announce it to a larger audience. A story published on SI.com told of the reactions by Missouri’s football coaches and executives. There is an expected significant drop in Sam’s draft stock.
“I don’t think football is ready for an (an openly gay player) just yet,” expressed an NFL player personnel assistant, “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a (gay slur) is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting place.”
Of course, it is only anticipated that there will be much discussion concerning Sam’s announcement, and all though there are those who deem it as not entirely appropriate, it is great progress that the topic of accepting homosexuality on the field is even being discussed. Various past, current and future NFL players happily accepted Sam’s announcement through their tweets after the announcement.
Tom Crabtree, the football tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tweeted, “Good for Michael Sam. Takes courage for where he is in his career and where we are as a league. I applaud him.”
Although there was and continues to be much acceptance of Sam’s sexuality, there will be a direct effect in the draft room. Whether Sam will be drafted into the NFL entirely relies on how comfortable the franchise feels with the idea of potentially disrupting the dynamic of the locker room. According to Sports Illustrated, various NFL executives questioned Sam’s decision to come out now, referring to it as “not a smart move,” as he will be the biggest story in football up until NFL draft on May 8.
Many individuals believe Sam’s decision to come out was not smart, as it will directly affect whether he will be drafted or not. However, Sam’s announcement puts Americans on a great path towards the acceptance of homosexuality in every corner.
Great change is occurring concerning homosexuality. There is a decline in negative views on gay people and an increase in acceptance of it.
Reach the columnist at Brooke.Ramos@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @brookesramos