The Sensationalized Michael Sam: The most unnecessary story of the year


Oh no. Here it is. A stupid story that’s going to make the NFL painful to pay any attention to…

As I’m sure you all know by now, the St. Louis Rams are the first NFL team to draft an openly gay player, Michael Sam. He’s become the newest darling of the media and now people who have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to football are going to be weighing in. And it’s not like this is the first gay athlete we’ve ever had in sports. That won’t stop them from blowing this completely out of proportion.

It’s already started. It would have been a media disaster if no team had drafted him. Now it’s going to be a disaster if the Rams cut him. And then it will be the feel good story of the year if another team signs him, followed by another disaster if that team cuts him.

But it’s all silliness. It doesn’t matter that he’s gay. Teams care if he can tackle and sack quarterbacks, not if he likes men instead of women. His teammates and coaches at Mizzou didn’t care. So why did he fall to 249th in the draft, only 7 spots away from the last pick? Maybe it’s because that’s where his football talent warranted him being drafted.

If you look at his numbers in the combine, he was largely mediocre. He ranked near the bottom in every event for defensive ends. His 40 time, bench press, and vertical jump were all worse than a punter picked before him. Of course the combine doesn’t tell the whole story and no team bases its draft solely on its results, but it does provide some indications of a player’s physical abilities. Don’t get me wrong, any person who is even considered to be drafted by an NFL team is incredibly gifted at football, but from everything I’ve read, Michael Sam is a below average to okay player relative to the rest of the league. He is by no means a lock to make the Rams’ roster.

The only reason he’s become a household name in football is because he came out of the closet—it’s not because of his football abilities. The media doesn’t really care about Michael Sam. They care about selling papers, getting views on their websites, etc. And they don’t care if they destroy Michael Sam in the process. People are going to end up hating Sam, not because he’s gay, but because they’re going to get tired of being bombarded with Michael Sam stories. The same exact thing happened with Tim Tebow.

Now get ready for this because I’m about to dazzle you with some intense philosophical insight: if you don’t want members of the gay community to be singled out just because they are gay, then don’t single out members of the gay community just because they are gay.

I’m certain that it was difficult and scary for Sam to come out, but don’t you think that has something to do with the spectacle that people make it out to be? More and more people are coming out, and regardless of the personal beliefs of others on the morality of homosexuality, most people just don’t care enough to treat a gay person much differently than they would anyone else.

Stop making such a big deal out of the things you think shouldn’t be a big deal.

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Lisa S

Well said!