You have probably noticed, in either the Broadcast or Print Media, that Michael Sam, star football player for the University of Missouri Football Team, announced a couple of weeks ago that he is Gay. He was named to the 2013 All-SEC Football Team and was the Conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year, on one of the best teams and arguably the best football conference. So, he would be a great prospect for the NFL.
Mr. Sam informed his Teammates and Coaches, last summer, that he was Gay. Everyone seemed to regard it as a personal matter, and no one went public with the news. He did, however, believe that it was the right thing to do now–to go public and reveal his homosexuality.
Michael Sam would have been the first Openly-Gay Man to play a Major Professional Sport in the U. S., that is, until the Brooklyn Nets recently signed Jason Collins, who is also Openly Gay, to a ten-day contract. Frankly, with New York being (well…) New York, did the Nets do this for the sensationalism, or is the Team really giving Mr. Collins a fair shot? Either way, he was given a rousing cheer by the Fans last night when he checked into the Game. Its important to keep in mind that Jason Collins had played in the NBA, for 12 seasons (before he “came out”), but remained unsigned this year–until now.
Well, I didn’t expect the “Party of Small Government” to respond so quickly. Today, Jack Burkman, GOP Lobbyist, noted that he is proposing legislation to ban Gays from playing in the National Football League. I’ve often seen the estimate that three percent of the U. S. General Population is Gay; but, does that mean Openly-Gay, or is some soothsayer just pulling that number out of “you know where”? Will Mr. Burkman’s next step be “Companion Legislation”, banning Openly-Lesbian Women from playing in the Lingerie Football League?
Over the years, showering in gym locker rooms, college dorms or the Army, I always assumed that some others might have been gay, just like in any other group setting. But, so what? Mr. Burkman’s press release statement went on to question “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man? That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”
Isn’t that the same line of oblivious thinking, which the Department of Defense was forced to demonstrate, in 1994, when it initiated “Don’t ask, don’t tell?” I have two questions for Mr. Burkman: First, wouldn’t such a Ban merely force–both Gays themselves, and the NFL salivating over exceptional prospects–to initiate some version of DADT?; and Second, wouldn’t any other Homophobe prefer to actually know if they are showering next to a Gay (or Lesbian) person?
But, perhaps there is some Enlightened Thought–if only Outside the Beltway? Rick Welts, Chief Operating Officer of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, who announced his homosexuality three years ago, said: “What’s the big deal with Gays in Pro Sports?” He is truly happy that the NBA overcame that barrier, and he looks forward to it being truly irrelevant–as it should be.
Wllts also pointed-out that Michael Sam’s Teammates showed remarkable “grace and maturity” with the way they handled his “Secret”. He went on to state that there is an increasing acceptance toward sexual orientation in today’s younger generations–both with regard to Players and Team Executives. (Jason Collins is 35 and Michael Sam is 24.)
NOTE: I am not trying to point-out any relationship with Mr. Collins announcing his homosexuality and not being signed by an NBA Team. His minutes per game (played) and points per game were never high. You might say that, at best, he played to give regulars a break.