Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No Fags League?

Is that really where Roger Goodell, Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, et. al. want to be standing?

The best defensive player in college football's best conference only a third to fifth round NFL pick? Really? That is shocking, and I guess that other thing is, too.

Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL; says he knows there will be problems... and they've already started.

Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn't be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that's a man's world.

There's no more prolific whisper network than the college of NFL scouts, coaches, owners, former players, etc.  The Brotherhood of Manly Men.  And the white noise is like a loud ringing in American society's ear right now. 

You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft.

You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome.

Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome.

Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away?  You lie to police trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.

You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!

I'll add: you can run a 4.4 forty?  You can shut down your corner?  You got a 'high motor' and you're a 'character guy'?  Congratulations, son.  Welcome to the NFL.  Try to keep your nose clean, but don't worry too much if you can't.  Just don't ever lose that quick first step.

It wasn't that long ago when we were being told that black players couldn't play in "our" games because it would be "uncomfortable." And even when they finally could, it took several more years before a black man played quarterback. Because we weren't "comfortable" with that, either.

So many of the same people who used to make that argument (and the many who still do) are the same people who say government should stay out of our lives. But then want government in our bedrooms.

I've never understood how they feel "comfortable" laying claim to both sides of that argument.

Yeah, those poor Republican conservatives.  Always getting something they don't like "shoved down their throats".  This is going to be some fun to watch, as Michael Sam transforms into Jackie Robinson, and the taboos start crashing to the ground.  Lots of opportunities for satire.

Update: Astros pitcher Jarrod Cosart picked a bad day to Tweet about Justin Bieber.

Update II: Fifteen reasons why Michael Sam matters, and why football is ready for him, even if some in the NFL aren't quite.

In the final minutes of the Cotton Bowl, with Missouri clinging to a three point lead, their opponent, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, were driving deep into Tigers territory. A field goal would have tied it for the Cowboys, a touchdown would probably have won it. On third down, inside the thirty, the Cowboys quarterback dropped back to pass. Sam, in a wondrous combination of power and speed, shot past his blocker on the outside. As the quarterback was flushed from the pocket, Sam sacked him, knocking the ball loose. His teammate scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. Sam’s play helped seal the victory, and it was obvious to anyone watching just what kind of player he was: a real man’s man.

No matter what happens next, Sam has proven what we already knew: that football, or any sport, isn’t somehow in itself hostile to the breadth of human sexuality. At Outsports, in a great behind-the-scenes explanation of how Sam’s announcement was planned and timed, Cyd Zeigler writes that Sam has no plans to become an activist anytime soon: “His role in the movement toward LGBT equality in sports will be simply playing the sport as an out gay man.” He’s done it before.

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