Monday, February 24, 2014

Sorry Michael Sam, you’re gay and not MAN enough for the NFL.

Sorry Michael Sam — a gay man like yourself has no place in the NFL — football is still and forever will be a man’s game, as pointed out in Sports Illustrated by an anonymous NFL source:

"I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," said an NFL player personnel assistant. "In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room."

So sorry, Michael Sam. After coming out publicly, you’ll need to take your athletic talents and homosexual-ways elsewhere, because football is a sport for REAL men; men of a certain caliber, men like Ray Rice, or Darren Sharper. Never mind that Rice beats his girlfriend and drags her unconscious body like roadkill, or Sharper, where being investigated for drugging and raping women are seemingly routine for him.

No, these must be the type of men that football fans so fanatically worship; role models like Ray Lewis, who has taught us that money can get you out of anything; say murder, for example. Aaron Hernandez should take note. Better yet, take child molester Gerry Sandusky, or Joe Paterno, a coach who is still regarded by many as a legend and treated with near-deity status, despite the child sex abuse scandal that surrounds his legacy. Because they must definitely be the kind of manly-men that football, and the NFL, prefers over someone with the sexual orientation of Sam. 

Because Sam does not fit into the NFL and football’s warped image of masculinity, one that has always taken pride in it’s machismo and elitism. It is a sport that supposedly “creates men,” but sadly, is deeply rooted in homophobia. A league that has been so successful and grown so large in popularity in such a short period of time is, on the other hand, slow to keep up with the times.

They continue to believe in their own grand, dated, and delusional idea of what it takes to be a man — an unrealistic ideal that they hold on to dearly; forgetting that past all the glamour and fame, they are encouraging an institution that excludes and discriminates. And if gender is a social construct, then football players and coaches have done a damn-good job in creating their own hypocritical version, one they continue to pass on to each new generation. Sam’s NFL career will, and already has, suffered from this. 

Instead of embracing Sam into their fraternity and taking on such a challenge to progress as an institution, the NFL would rather tiptoe around the issue, still holding on to their sacred game and its traditions, damming Sam in the process. 

If football is really to be the man’s-man game, then the NFL, its fans, and football culture as a whole, has to show it is not afraid of their fellow man, because showing fear, of course, is not what a man does.

And unlike the NFL executives and personnel in the Sports Illustrated article, who ironically, would rather hide in anonymity instead of standing behind their words as they criticize him, Sam showed no fear when he came out to his teammates in college, or when he came out publicly to the media.

If anything, Sam has shown courage; courage to stand up to a homophobic institution, and did so with utmost honesty; with dignity and class. And that, if anything, is the sort of man I’d rather be teammates with. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014