Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Michael Sam: good for him, bad for open, honest discussion
The would-be first openly gay NFL player says his sexual orientation shouldn't matter and he's right, but it will matter, mostly for the wrong reasons.
It took courage for All American defensive end Michael Sam to declare himself openly and proudly gay prior to the NFL draft, although by all accounts, it was already widely known and a non-issue among his Missouri coaches and teammates. If he's already living his lifestyle openly among family, friends and associates, making a public declaration is inviting attention and controversy, and that makes it a boon for politically correct bullies eager tar anyone who doesn't drink the Kool-Aid with the bigot brush. ESPN's Herm Edwards was widely mocked yesterday for giving honest answers to legitimate questions about how the presence of an openly gay player could affect the locker room dynamic and whether it might affect Sam's draft status. As someone whose association with pro football as a player, coach and commentator spans five decades, Edwards spoke from an indisputably credible perspective, but because he wasn't in complete lockstep with the rainbow flag mentality and dared to suggest Sam's public proclamation could have negative football repurcussions, Edwards was lumped in with real bigots and homophobes by morally superior internet passersby who don't have a fraction of his insight.
There's no credibility in using shrill hysteria to shut down legitimate discussion. Acceptance and respect are commanded, not demanded. The biggest service the PC police can do for Michael Sam is to listen to him when he says his sexuality doesn't matter, let him earn acceptance from his football peers through his measure as a player and as a person, and stop using him as a prop to drive their agenda.