Over this past weekend, I like many people who watch sports programs on their televisions may have seen the press conference held by the University of Missouri football standout, Michael Sam.

If you possibly do not know who I am talking about or live under a rock, he is a young man who is attempting to be drafted in the upcoming NFL draft.  He is reported a very talented defensive end who could have easily been drafted in the first or second round with no problem, except for one minor wrinkle.

Approximately, two weeks ago, he publicly “came out” and reported that he was a member of the gay community.  This public announcement rose more than a few eyebrows and has become the main media focus.  Due to the recent events surrounding the Miami Dolphins and the inherent attitude in most men’s lock rooms, especially those in the National Football League, there has been questions raised about his being accepted into the league and also whether his declaration has somehow hurt or diminished his chances to succeed in the sport that he loves.  We will have to wait and see the final results when the NFL draft actually occurs.

Sorry that I digressed and anyway, back to the news conference.  Michael Sam was at the NFL Combine and in this press conference he opened with… “Hello, I am Michael Sam and I play football for Mizzou.” He closed with “God bless you guys.” In between, he made the following statement…”I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player,” he said.

At the same time, Sam, who didn’t call himself a trailblazer, knows how big of an impact the decision that “made him stronger” had on many others.  “There are a lot of people who want this,” Sam said.  “There’s a lot of support out there.”

He said he would have no problems playing for the Miami Dolphins, even after their serious locker-room issues were brought to light by the Ted Wells report.  Problems cited included harassment of players that included intimidation and slurs.  He said that he is ready to have conversations with any misguided future teammates.  “I’ve been in locker rooms where all kinds of stuff have been said. I don’t think anyone means it,” he said. “As time goes on, everyone will adapt.”

Sam’s main purpose at the Combine is to prove he deserves to be part of the NFL roster as a defensive end or outside linebacker, something on which he’s “100 percent focused.”  “I’m a pass rusher. If you put me in situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get quarterback,” Sam said.

NFL teams have only asked football questions, Sam said.  Every NFL coach and general manager who has been asked about Sam at the Combine the past three days have given the same type of the answer:

“We’re still evaluating him, he’s a good football player, and if he can help our team win games, we have no problems drafting him.”

Now, I personally could care less about the fact that he is gay, just like all the other “gay” people who have flooded the news media in the past few years.  I am all for the same rights for people regardless of their sexual preferences, but if you are only announcing your ideals because you wish to promote that lifestyle and you are choosing to do it publicly, than expect and accept the consequence of your actions.  Mr. Sam decided to make a public statement that he was gay, so it is absurd reality to expect anything less.  He was the one who made this entire media circus about the fact that he was a “gay” football player, but now he expects to be treated and questioned only about the fact that he is a football player, rather than the focus be on his personal choices.

Sorry, if he did not want the focus to be on the fact that he was “gay” then he never should have “come out” and said so.

 

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