Everybody has had a great attitude regarding Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football player that told the world he was gay over the weekend.
The New England Patriots said they would draft him. The Lions, Bears and Broncos issued statements of support. Even Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins involved in the bullying charges, came out and applauded Sam’s decision. The NFL, society and the fans who spoke on it said “good job son. We support you.”
So what is the problem?
Well when society is allowed to be nameless and faceless the ugly part of human behavior comes out. When the NFL executive is allowed to stand behind a blue screen he tells the world that the league is not so welcoming. He tells the world that we are 10 years away from acceptance.
He says Sam’s draft stock might go down because the dressing room is not ready. He would become a distraction because some guys are afraid he’d be checking them out in the showers.
When fans are allowed to become Super Dog 589 or Limp Wrist 95 on the Internet they tell a different story. They use words like fag and queer to describe Sam. They tell teams not to draft him because he cannot be all man. He’d tear apart a dressing room even though that did not happen at Mizzou. The Tigers were in that second tier of teams of national title contenders in the rough and tumble SEC.
They said they’d punch him in the face if they saw him in a deserted back alley. They don’t like that kind.
So now we get to test society. Sam was projected as a third to fifth round draft pick before he told the world he was gay. Let’s see if the league gives him a chance or makes up stories about why his draft stock slipped. Fans get a chance to act civil if Sam gets a chance to play.
Now it is no longer about talk regarding our views on a gay athlete. It is about action. I am real curious to see how we all act as Sam tries to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
The world is watching.