"The End of the NFL"

I’d like to start this post by saying that everyone has the right to their religious & political beliefs. Everyone is entitled to live their lives however they see fit. What people do not have the right to do is impose their beliefs on others in a hateful way.

I can see the comments now – “by blogging about your view you’re imposing it on others” or “I thought you said I’m entitled to my opinion”  You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. I’m not here to try to convince anyone of anything, but rather to explain how I see things from my point of view.

All of the talk over the past few days has been surrounding NFL prospect Michael Sam.  People are outraged, personally offended, and doubting the entire future of the NFL just because Michael Sam is gay. Here’s how I see it: Michael Sam is a football player. A Missouri Tiger.  A defensive lineman. A first-team All American.  An MVP.  A man – 6’2″ and 260 pounds.  He is one hell of a football player, and he also happens to be gay. I see Michael Sam as a role model. A beacon of light for the millions of people, athletes included, who are struggling to gain the courage to do what Michael did.  

People are saying that a gay player “brings baggage” to the locker room, as if felonies, families, and disabilities don’t also bring baggage.  They are saying that football is a man’s-man game, as if Michael Sam is any less of a man than Cam Newton.  They are saying things that are so mind blowing, I won’t even repeat them.

It’s not all bad, of course. The majority of people see Michael Sam the same way I do. In fact, New England’s beloved Bob Kraft stated:

“We’re about winning. And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, their gender preference.  If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here. If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system, I really believe that.”

Isn’t that what it’s all about – winning games? I guarantee there are gay players on your favorite team who haven’t yet found the courage to announce it.  After reading some of those comments, I can’t say I blame them. If this really were to cause the “end of the NFL”, which it won’t, it would not be Michael Sam’s fault. It would be the fault of people who are unwilling to accept difference.  It would be the fault of people who are so stuck in their ways that they can not, or will not, get with the times.  It would also be the fault of the parents who raised these people and taught them to hate.

My parents taught me to love. I was always taught to never judge others and that every person you meet is unique and deserving of the same love that I received. I believe that with my whole heart. I am thankful that I was raised this way and someday, I will raise my children the same way.

Will Michael Sam’s statement change the NFL? Absolutely. Whether people are willing to accept this is entirely up to them. Will people stop supporting their favorite team if they are the one to draft Sam? Probably. It’s so sad.

If you are one of the people who is against Sam and anyone who accepts him, you’re entitled to your opinion.  Just remember, while you’re hiding behind your computer screen blasting ignorance through social media, countless homosexuals are fighting for your freedom to do so.


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