Are We Tired of Michael Sam Stories?

Call me whatever, but I’m tired of reading about Michael Sam being happy about being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and the ESPN coverage of the kiss. As an individual who believes in the Christian faith, a football fan, a Who Dat Saints supporter from the time I would only be knee high to a grasshopper when standing on top of one of those crawfish mounds out in the yard, and someone with enough book learning to be labeled as professor, this episode might just open doors which we fail to comprehend.

What’s next? Seriously, we might have coverage of individuals who have been convicted of crimes being built up by the commentators. They might show celebrations of athletes selected who committed assault and battery, sexual crimes including rape, illegal drug usage and trafficking, and even murder.

Do we really want to live in that type of society? We have been so fortunate that past and current professional athletes are all such “perfect” people that we would welcome them always into our homes, at night, and into the rooms of our loved ones. Yep!!!!

If every professional athlete presented themselves in the manner of, let’s say Drew Brees of current players and Warrick Dunn of retired NFL players. There are others, but those are two individuals of my generation who I respect for how they present themselves both on and off the field. If I were asked to name a professional athlete trying to bring something positive from a tragic situation, I would state the name Steve Gleason.

Those men represent what I would argue as examples of what kids should strive to become off the field. I thought it was cute how Drew held his little boy following the Super Bowl. Some of the reactions by kids to Warrick’s works have been heartwarming. The tapes that Steve made for his child before his ALS worsened are inspirational.

Personally I hope to one day live in a world where someone like Michael Sam is not news just for what already occurred. I would like to see him regarded as an individual who worked hard to succeed in his pursuits. In my opinion, he should be nothing more and nothing less at this point.

The sad reality, however, is that because some in society label his lifestyle as evil it is news. Agree or disagree with his feelings, doesn’t he have the right to be who he is?  For some reason, we all times think we are both judge and jury.  Should our feelings change merely because we are either but not both judge and jury?

Some argue that he should keep his private life private. To me everyone’s private life should be private. Why should he or anyone have to disguise who they are? What is different from Sam than other players drafted who kissed their Mom, their wife, their girlfriend, or anyone else?  To me I see little, if any, difference.

Would there be a public outcry about a man who served time for sexual assault and manslaughter kissing his current girlfriend but not his previous 2 girlfriends with whom he fathered children?  Probably not, and that to me is a sad point about society.

This will sound strange but even with people I regard as friends, I really don’t care to watch any of the married women I know kiss their husbands. I don’t want to watch the guys I know kiss their wives. In a few of those cases, I actually kissed some of my friends wives before they became the wife of my friend or anyone else, and I still have no interest in watching them kiss anyone. Actually many of these women are even prettier today than way back at the time I wanted to kiss them, and I still don’t care to see them kissing me or anyone else.

In the case of Michael Sam, all that should matter to NFL fans is his potential to play in the NFL.

Now his combine stats were not impressive for his position, and I can understand why an SEC Defensive Player of the year would not be a high draft pick with those numbers. Still not everything can be based on numbers. Who he chooses to kiss or not to kiss does not matter to me. It’s his life.

As a football fan, I would focus on this part of his draft profile:

Plays hard — gives great effort and competes every down. Good on-field intensity and demeanor. Attacks the edges aggressively and motor runs hot. Outstanding weight-room strength — can squat a small house. Very durable.”

If you wanted a child to emulate on field performance, could you desire anything more than those first 2 sentences? “Plays hard — gives great effort and competes every down. Good on-field intensity and demeanor.”

I hope that one day we get to a stage where an individual such as Michael Sam is looked at by society as a whole based on what he can and cannot do in his profession.

I would hope that an individual would be liked or disliked based on whether they are a part of the community and give back to that community. In other words, do they edify others through their interactions with you and others?

We haven’t reached that stage, so Michael Sam needs to be on the news. He’s an individual. He’s a football player who had success in the SEC. He seems to be an articulate and sincere individual. I think he deserves to be himself, and he is not forcing his choices on me. In my opinion, I should not force my choices on him. Chances are that I and the people I consider friends are more likely to have more in common with Michael Sam and to become friends with Michael Sam than they are with a person who is a crook, thief, or phony.

If people have a problem with that, consider this argument I read from a self labeled “conservative,” “American values,” and “Christian” website.

“When homosexuals gain certain ‘rights’, we lose our rights in the process.”

I guess that means that as long as “we” have the advantage or the privilege, it really doesn’t matter about “you.”

Do we really want to live in that type of society?

It’s sorta like Sarah Palin’s waterboarding speech, and I’m not even referring to the baptism aspects. Have you ever considered who gets to determine who the terrorist is? Chances are it might be someone other than you.

Why isn’t someone else entitled to the same rights we have and why is it OK for us to judge them, but not OK for them to judge us?

That’s why I hope that one day Michael Sam is not a news story simply from celebrating and being happy about being drafted.