SHOW-ME THE GAY CARD: AN EXAMINATION OF THE MICHAEL SAM GAY CONFESSION
Now that the dust has settled over the media circus that followed Mizzou football player Michael Sam's highly touted gay confession, it's time to take a more reasoned look at the reality of situation.
The act of "coming out" is, in fact, a very brave statement for a great many people in this nation.
Why is it brave? Because people who reveal their LGBTQI identity are subject to discrimination, derision and even emotional and physical separation from their families. There are consequences to "coming out" in a family context given that such a long history of sexual discrimination in this nation and throughout the world.
In the workplace "coming out" is a different story. While workplace protections are limited and vary from region to region. It's important to know that LGBTQI people are protected by the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and in reality . . . No business, except maybe Cracker Barrel, wants to make a name for themselves as unfriendly to gay people. Like it or not, from the NFL to the corner store, it's bad for business to turn away any demographic.
Now . . .
Let's look at other sport heroes and their controversial stances through history.
When Muhammad Ali refused Army induction in 1967 the controversial move sparked a national debate and harsh attacks against boxing legend which earned him sanctions, seemingly limitless vitriol by sports and political pundits throughout the nation, people called him a coward and his athletic career was nearly put to a halt.
It was only later that Muhammad Ali's opposition to the war was proven correct and the public recognized his courageous stance for peace that put his public life at risk.
But let's look to an even more celebrated example who most now agree did the right thing.
While the press adored Jackie Robinson, his historic and brave stance was met with real and vicious attacks by other players and backward baseball fans throughout the nation.
Many opposing players went out of their way to spike Jackie Robinson and at nearly ever baseball outing the baseball legend was met with racial slurs and insults.
And now . . .
Contrast both of these historic, brave and groundbreaking efforts with the current media circus over Michael Sam.
Here's one question that no media pundit is willing to ask:
Where is the opposition to Michael Sam?
As far as I can tell, it's only the crackpots at Westboro Baptist Church who have expressed their stupid opposition to Michael Sam.
What's so brave about a decision that has not only earned praise from President Obama, nearly unanimous support from the University of Missouri student body and the adulation of nearly the entire mainstream media?!?!
If we measure bravery by taking risk then it's clear that there's very little downside to Michael Sam's decision to reveal his sexuality.
In fact, a simple look at the reality of ultra-competitive NFL football might reveal that the slow, small and scrawny lineman might actually benefit from national acclaim in a way that far surpasses his merits as an NFL draft prospect. Michael Sam's football future was unclear before the announcement of his sexual preference but now that he has played "The Gay Card" he has become a national sensation for so-called bravery that has done nothing but benefit his football career.