Michael Sam came out publicly in a New York Times interview last Sunday. If selected by one of the 32 teams in the upcoming NFL Draft, Sam would be the first openly gay professional American football player. There’s a good chance of that according to Fred Toucher’s comments today on Boston’s Sports Hub, 98.5.
Not surprisingly, the blip on the social media radar regarding Sam to this point has been relatively quiet. The great Shirley Temple, Bob Costas’ pinkeye dilemma he is dealing with in Sochi, and Dumb Starbucks occupy the top search queries on Google. Gary Tanguay filled in for Rich Shertenlieb on yesterday’s Toucher & Rich show. His claim is that the media does not do a good job reporting what people actually want to learn about. Hard to argue against his point.
For some reason, an uproar has ensued in limited media circles about Sam playing in NFL locker rooms. Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans Saints is a ten year veteran of the league. In an interview with Anderson Cooper Vilma claims that NFL locker rooms are not ready to include an openly gay man among their ranks. He has since retracted his original comments in an NFL.com interview.
Honestly, all who participated in anti-gay comments surrounding Sam’s ascension to the NFL should be a little ashamed. Furthermore, Vilma and players echoing his original sentiments need to get over themselves. The players in the NFL still do not seem to realize once their brief career is over 99% of them will never be heard from again.
Any talk of how “sacred” an NFL locker room is utter nonsense. On one hand, NFL players want to be considered professionals. On the other, they are engaging in mind-reading activities while worrying about who is looking at them naked after a shower, plotting a murder, or taking performance enhancing drugs. Egomaniacal behavior is all too common in the sub cultures within America’s favorite sport. But the time has come for fans to step away and resolve our sycophantic tendencies to understand the NFL is consistently embarrassing themselves by way of human rights violations.