Missouri Defensive End Michael Sam is a great football player. Google his name and you will find a myriad of recounts of his success story advancing from a low-grade recruit status to his being named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC—arguably the best conference in college ball. He is referred to as both a beast and a leader on his team. However, why is he the big topic of today’s news—plenty of “beasts” inhabit the NFL. It’s because he’s into guys. And that is all.
We don’t feel like this is an all too particularly newsworthy event.
The team was aware of Sam’s homosexuality since August, but it was never revealed simply because it did not matter, as it shouldn’t have. Sam could play and he got the job done. Period. Hetero or homo had absolutely no bearing on his performance or his interactions with his teammates.
However, due to Sam’s greatness, he is likely to become the first openly gay player in the NFL. The issue now resides in the question of whether his draft stock will suffer.
The NFL released quite the heartwarming statement on the issue, suggesting that they are excited to welcome Sam to the league in 2014. Several sources say his draft is plummeting. When the reasons for the drop are discussed, his coming out is not even in the picture. Because his performance in one specific game was poor, the scouts are coincidentally now claiming that he just might not be what they are looking for. All of a sudden, he is merely “good.”
In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be breaking news, just as it was not even a wrinkle in the team for the entirety of a season. Until it isn’t, we wish Sam the best of luck in the draft.
Emily Hedberg is a junior Nursing major beginning her third year at The Spectator. Emily is from Phoenix, AZ and therefore enjoys every drop of rain that falls. Emily also enjoys running, dumplings and coffee shops.