College football star, likely NFLer says he is gay

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by malman89, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. malman89, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Wow. I never thought the NFL would be the first major pro sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) to have an openly gay player, but it looks like they will be.

    Michael Sam, an SEC Co-Defensive player of the year and All American football player, came out as gay today in the months long lead up to the NFL Combine and NFL Draft, where he will be drafted. Projected as a 3rd round pick (out of 7 for those who don't know), it is a certainty he should be drafted and most likely even play as a rookie, depending on his team and position (might need to switch from DE to OLB due to his size).

    There's still a long way to go until the Draft, such as his Combine performance, but I wonder if this will have any detrimental effect on his draft order. The Combine can make or break someone's draft stock, so it's much too soon to speculate much, except that he would need to end up on a team with an accepting locker room.

    For more, see the NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/s...l-star-says-he-is-gay-ahead-of-nfl-draft.html. Or ESPN. Or everywhere. This is the story of the night.

    As the article states, there's been a handful of head-shaking moments from NFL players and teams when it comes to having an out teammate, hence the surprise. Hockey types started the You Can Play movement, so it's been most prevalent in the NHL (and minor/college ranks), which made me think that the NHL or perhaps the mild mannered MLB would be the most likely sport to have an openly gay player. I guess not - it'll be the NFL.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    I fail to see why being gay matters to a sport. I find it that your talent and abilities matters most.

    If anyone makes a deal over this, well... America we are in need of serious help.
     
  3. chabig macrumors 68040

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  4. skottichan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    He has the potential of being a inspiration for LGBT kids. It is a big deal when you are the first anything, but when you're an oppressed group and you make it big, it helps the group feel like they too can reach this ideal.

    Plus, this is the NFL, which has been the pinnacle of hetero manliness, so an openly gay player, is a big deal.
     
  5. malman89, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    malman89 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Sorry, it's already everywhere. And will be for the next 24-120 hours. And again at the NFL Combine. And again at the NFL Draft.

    Should a player's sexuality be breaking news? Should a player be judged by anything other than his or her athletic performance? No, as a society it shouldn't be, but clearly we're not quite there yet if it is. There's still the "Bu-bu-but he's gonna look at me in the shower and WANT me" nonsense in sports locker rooms across this country, from kids sports to 2013-14 NFL teams.
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #6
    Yes and no. There are plenty of other gay openness inspirations out there. However as you said, the first in anything is a big deal. I just feel the whole gay issue will be over blown beyond what it should be.
     
  7. Renzatic Suspended

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    #7
    Exactly. The goal of any group of people shouldn't be their mere tolerance in society. It's when they're no longer a big deal that things are at their best. That's when they've achieved true acceptance.

    20 years from now, there could be loads of gay men in the NFL, and no one will give a damn one way or the other. They're people like everyone else.
     
  8. malman89 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Case and point: Anonymous responses from NFL staff from SI prove that this news is a major issue for Michael Sam, the league, its players, and teams.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20140209/michael-sam-draft-stock/

    I personally like the 'garbage time/competition' comment. Why should that be an argument for Sam, a proven player from an elite D-1 conference, but is not the case for someone like Khalil Mack, a LB from Buffalo and the MAC, a middling D-1 conference? People are praising him for being the second coming of Linebacker Jesus beating up on inferior opponents.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

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    #9
    It's a big deal because this guy could be the Jackie Robinson of gay athletes. I've seen some comments on various websites and they're not that different than the racist crap directed towards Jackie Robinson back in the 40s.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #10
    How do we know there are not loads now?
     
  11. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    We need to look at the Jackie Robinson precedent because you KNOW the extremely ugly reception Robinson got during that famous 1947 season, even though everyone saw Robinson's excellent playing skills. Michael Sam now faces that potential same negative reaction, made all the worse by today's much more intense scrutiny, especially through Facebook and Twitter. At least Sam is well-spoken and very intelligent in the interview he did with ESPN's Chris Connelly, and that may go a LONG way in defusing this situation.

    (A little off-topic, but did you remember not liking my suggestion about the new generation of Ford small cars saving the company way back in the summer of 2009? :) Fortunately, the Fiesta and Focus did prove to be major successes for Ford, and that paved the way for new versions of the Escape SUV, Fusion sedan and now F-150 truck, all with way better fuel economy.)
     
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

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    #12
    There probably are. With rougly 1600 players in the NFL, statistically, there has to be a few gay ones. Hopefully this will give them the courage to come out so Sam won't feel so alone.

    I did see some negative comments, but they were overwhelmingly outnumbered by positive comments so I hope it won't be as bad. I'm not sure what Facebook and Twitter would've looked like if they were around in the Jackie Robinson era. I watched 42 last night and it made it seem like not one person outside of Branch Rickey was supportive, but Hollywood may have taken some artistic license on that.

    Huh? I don't remember what I said on these forums this morning, much less in 2009 :p
     
  13. Renzatic Suspended

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    #13
    There probably are, but considering the hoopla surrounding this one guy, they're obviously not coming forward about it. In the future, they'll all be open about it, because no one will really care.

    It'll be like any equal rights movement. The integration process will take awhile, but it'll eventually happen. And by the time it does, it's presence becomes so commonplace, no one even notices it anymore. We're seeing something like that happen with interracial marriages now. 20-30 years ago, people freaked out when a black person married a white person. Now? Barring a few exceptions in a few places, most people just see it as other people getting hitched. It's a nonissue nowadays.
     
  14. skottichan macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Name some in the Big 3 Sports in the US (NFL, MLB and NASCAR), outside of Michael Sam.

    Believe it or not, we are an oppressed people. I can be fired for my sexuality in 29 states (and transgender people can be fired for 34), so it's not entirely a safe thing to be open. Michael Sam went through a sports program where "******" and "gay" are still openly hurled as insults for being weak/poor playing.


    So yeah, we can take all the inspirations we can get.

    I'm sorry you're offended by homosexuality being "overblown", I wish it were different. I wish sexuality and gender weren't something that was "just another thing that didn't matter". But, it kinda has to be a big deal right now.
     
  15. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #15
    Not the first:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Collins#Personal_life
    In the cover story of the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, written by Collins himself and posted on the magazine's website on April 29, 2013, he came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so.[20][21][22] ...
    Although maybe it says something about how unimportant it is, that you didn't think of him.
     
  16. FreeState macrumors 68000

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    #16
    And look what happened after he came out at the very end of the season. Where does he play now? Oh that's right. The difference now is he will actually be playing as he is young and about to be drafted. That is a huge difference.
     
  17. tgara macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    My guess (and my hope) is that the fans and the public at large don't see his sexuality as factor in anything relating to his game performance. They just want to see him play and succeed. However, from the last paragraph in the article you linked to, it seems the people having the biggest issues are the team management and the other players:

    These comments sound somewhat similar to comments made by military leaders concerning gay soldiers in combat.
     
  18. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

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    #18
    The difference there being that the US military is a public entity and changes in those arenas can happen faster than in private ones.

    If this were Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel making this proclamation then I don't think many would care. An elite player is going to run into less resistance because at the end of the day the thing the guys in the front office and locker room care about most is winning. But Michael Sam is not either of those players. He's an undersized DE that had one good statistical season. For that effort he was a marginal player to begin with, graded out somewhere in the 4th and 5th round range. When you start getting into those types of players, NFL executives and coaches will weigh this issue differently. Front office people hate things that can be thought of as a distraction for their teams. They want the focus to be singular and for it to be on the field. It's why a lot of NFL teams don't want any part of the Hard Knocks show that HBO produces. So his draft stock will fall....wouldn't even surprise me to see him go un-drafted. But somebody will eventually pick him up.

    And then the circus will really begin.
     
  19. malman89 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I did think of him and I purposely omitted him. Technically he's still an active player, but in essence he is retired. He came out after the season after his last contract. He was a reserve journeyman with no real on the court contributions to the vast majority of his teams. He has not been signed since, so he's only active in the sense that he hasn't submitted his retirement papers to the NBA/Players Association.

    That situation is nothing compared to an incoming rookie that should be able to contribute to his team for the next decade.
     
  20. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    #20
    You watch how fast owners and GMs change their tune when they realize what a marketing bonanza he will be. He'd have an instant national following and his jersey will sell like hotcakes. Sadly, that's why he'll get drafted, not because his being gay shouldn't matter in the least.
     
  21. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Everyone that is like "who cares?" and "sexuality isn't important in sports" - are you all heterosexual? Because that isn't the world we actually live in at the moment. What he did is incredibly brave and important, and the people who tend to fall into the "who cares?" camp are typically straight, so sexuality has little effect on their daily life as it is. It's a privileged position, but it's not reality.

    I agree he might sell some jerseys, but I disagree - I think he gets drafted despite the "distraction" because he's a damn good defensive player. You know how the NFL loves its SEC players, too.
     
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    #22
    Just a little. :eek:


    I think the ones in this thread saying "who cares" and "sexuality isn't important in sports" are simply stating how they feel about it.

    The reason this is a big deal - and this is a big deal - is because of the perception/belief/preconceived notion of how the players and coaches will feel about him.

    Sure, it's easy for us to say his sexuality is unimportant or no big deal; but he's not looking to work for a typical job with typical people now, is he? There's a general sentiment that the NFL is full of people who are much more narrow-minded and unaccepting than the general public when it comes to homosexuals.
     
  23. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #23
    ESPN sure is running with it. I doubt they even heard of this kid before yesterday.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #24
    And the comments are just as ridiculous now as they were back then.

    Being gay doesn't mean he's going to try to have sex with every other guy in the shower with him. And so what if he sees the other player's dicks? I'm straight, and if a gay guy saw my schlong and liked what he saw, I'd take it as a compliment :p
     
  25. tgara macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I agree with you, but unfortunately many people still harbor old stereotypes of gay people. The Assistant Coach I quoted basically said the locker room contains some players that are not mature about these kinds of things. In other words, the coach is not worried so much about the gay player, but rather how the other players will react to a gay man in the locker room and whether that will affect their performance on the field.
     

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