Monday, May 12, 2014

Michael Sam

Memo to all NFL players: Michael Sam is gay. Get over it.

Michael Sam is a helluva football player. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The St. Louis Rams got a steal in being able to pick such a talented player so late in the draft. If the Rams had passed on him, the Chicago Bears management said they would have gotten him because it would have allowed the franchise to have drafted back to back SEC Defensive Players of the Year. That is how good he is.

Whether he will be a defensive end or a linebacker remains to be seen, but I guarantee you he will make an impact on Sunday afternoons for years to come.

All of this has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. His teammates at the University of Missouri knew before the world did. They played with him, interacted with him and looked to him for leadership on and off the field. They didn't care about his personal life, neither should his future colleagues in the National Football League.

A person should be judged on what they bring to the table. Not their skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. The fact that an African-American player was the one who sent a message on Twitter expressing his dissatisfaction with Sam being drafted ( and I suppose his public display of affection as well ) makes it even more disturbing.

At one time in American history, Blacks, women and homosexuals were discouraged to fight for their country, fortunately many did despite this. Now the military has had the foresight to realize the error of their ways. It is time for the rest of society, including professional sports, to do the same.

Many of us know a family member or a friend or a co-worker or a classmate that is a member of the LGBT community. Regardless of your personal convictions, you have developed some kind of relationship with that person to peacefully co-exist. That is what is expected in a tolerant society.

It is my hope that the next discussion about Michael Sam will be about that hit he put on a running back or how explosive he is getting to the quarterback. Of course, when he plays against the Bears, I want to root for my guys to block him. Jay Cutler has had enough sacks as it is.