Michael Sam: Openly human player drafted by St. Louis

(As posted to my Gazette blog)

If I see one more headline pointing out Michael Sam’s sexual orientation — as in, “openly gay player drafted . . .” — I’m going to scream. (Actually, that is what I am doing right now.) The Internet is loaded with such headlines today, as if it is some sort of miracle.

Yes, it is nice to see that the NFL is not discriminating against a gay person. That’s the way it should be. It would be news if he was rejected simply because of his sexual orientation. But I don’t think NFL teams want a player’s sexual orientation to be highlighted — because it is irrelevant! They certainly don’t want to be patted on the back for doing the obviously right thing, i.e. not giving a damn about sexual orientation and focusing on football skills.

Too many media outlets are sensationalizing the “gay” angle of the story, and they may be doing more harm than good — i.e. sticking Michael with a label that overshadows his skills and actually discriminating against him.

It should be reported like any other NFL draft story is reported. Michael’s football skills should be the focus, not his sexual orientation. Sure, it is OK to mention in the body of the initial NFL Draft reports that he is the first openly gay player in the league. After that, it should never be mentioned again — unless Michael brings it up somehow.

Unless, of course, the media are going to report on the sexual orientation of every player in professional sports. As in, “So-and-So, who is a heterosexual, was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.”

— Jillian

2 thoughts on “Michael Sam: Openly human player drafted by St. Louis

  1. Too right! Any person’s (yours, mine, Michael Sam’s, Conchita Wurst’s) sexual orientation should have no relevance to their ability to do their job. Though I don’t think Conchita would have won the Eurovision Song Contest without the beard. That is a quite sad judgement for me to make, but unfortunately the Eurovision Song Contest hasn’t been about music for a long time. To be honest, most of Europe wouldn’t know a decent pop song if it smacked them between the eyes. North America (USA and Canada), and GB&I (that is to say, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) have a “gut feel” for decent popular music. The Netherlands came second in ESC because they had the nerve to do a C&W song. As a Brit of course I think Molly deserved better than 17th, but the ESC voting is political, with countries voting for their neighbours. We only have Ireland and France as neighbours, and we have upset both of them badly over the years, so what else can we expect? I found it very amusing that almost every nation but France was able to deliver their vote in English – today’s “Lingua Franca” (the original Franks that phrase referred to were, of course, German, not French). But – as the saying goes in the UK “bugger it” (now I wonder where that came from) – as long as folk had a good time, does it matter? I am hoping, following Conchita’s winning speech, that tolerance is the ultimate winner


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