Is this the year of the first openly gay player in the NFL?
Michael Sam breaks the stereotype that many Americans have of homosexuals. University of Missouri All-American defensive lineman Michael Sam is 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds and he opened up yesterday about his sexual orientation. Sam is expected to be drafted into the NFL during the draft this May – that would make him the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Reaction of Sam’s revelation has been mixed. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he is not homophobic but “imagine if he’s the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me. How am I supposed to respond?” Vilma has led some to believe he does have a problem with homosexuals. In 2011, Vilma said, “Grown men should NOT have female tendencies.”
London Fletcher, Redskins linebacker, said, “There’s such a stigma with gay and homosexuals within male sports.” Former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards warned that a gay player is “bringing baggage into your locker room” and questioned if players could handle the media attention.
Tweets about Michael Sam’s admission that he is gay have been filled with hate and frequent use of the word f****t.
The issue of an openly gay player in the NFL, or any professional sport, is more about ignorance-born hate than it is about a gay player. And the same can be said of the debate over same-sex marriage. I have been criticized for “promoting” a gay agenda – even though I’m straight. As I have said numerous times, I am not promoting a gay agenda and have nothing to personally gain by total acceptance of gays in our society. However, I AM promoting the acceptance of law-abiding individuals who should have a right to participate on every level of American society without condemnation of those who have embarked on a crusade to dictate personal behavior.
The fact is that we have all been in the locker rooms of our schools and health clubs with homosexuals – gay men and lesbians. The homosexuals that have been in locker rooms with all of us may not have been openly gay, therefore we were unaware they were standing next to us.
I have never known of any widespread problem with homosexuals pursuing straight people in the heated fog of a hot shower or in the bright lights of the locker room where everyone is briefly naked. This is not to say that there haven’t been situations where an advance has been made, but through my own experiences and in tracking the news every day of life, I have not been aware of any actual problems that have resulted in locker rooms.
There have been a few professional athletes, including NFL players, who have come out of the closet after they left the game. There have not been stories about any inappropriate behavior in the years those gay players were showering and changing with straight players in the locker rooms.
The mistake many heterosexuals make is they put themselves in what they consider to be a similar situation. Men think, “Well, if I were in a shower or locker room with well-built women, I know what I would be looking at and I know what I would want to do!”
Since I am not gay, I can only speak from my perspective, but I would image that if a person grows up gay, they would have to be conditioned to be in locker room-type settings with the sex they are innately attracted to from the beginning of their lives and would know how to behave. Otherwise, how can anyone explain the lack of incidents in locker rooms that have always been open to homosexuals?
The degree of fear over being in the same place with homosexuals, like a locker room, is part of the hysterical view of homosexuality that is not based on actual facts or events. This hysteria is spread by a diminishing number of Americans, who disapprove of a lifestyle that poses no threat to them or their families.
As Americans, it should be paramount to our culture to learn from the past mistakes made over judgment and exclusion. I am continually perplexed by the intensity with which some people want to dictate behavior – all in the name of preserving the American way of life. Unless I missed something along the way, the American way of life is the envy of the world because of its diversity and tolerance.
While the hate of homosexuals may continue, the number of haters is shrinking, which may be causing the remaining haters to become even louder.
The battle over banning same-sex marriage is essentially over in America. States will continue to approve legal same-sex marriage and the courts will continue to uphold same-sex marriage as an equal right. In the future, the fear over same-sex marriage will be viewed as the battle to ban birth control pills in the early 1960s. Americans will wonder why the crusade to ban same-sex marriage was such a big deal.
The battle over homosexuals in locker rooms may be just beginning even though knowledge of sexual orientation is not a prerequisite for joining a health club!
And for the record – I’ve seen straight people “check me out” in locker room situations and I don’t like that! So straight or gay – don’t look!
Man I'm so ugly that it's hard enough for me to get a nice girl to look at me so I'm not worried about a gay guy checking me out.
They don't scare me
The gay guys just go away if you give them a hint.
If you're worried about being checked out in the locker room, the problem is your vanity and assumption other people can't control themselves. Regardless of orientation, not everyone is walking around with hormones raging. People can behave like adults, gay, straight or bi.
Sodomy, gay or straight, is just plain medically dangerous
Worried about gays in the locker room? Should be worried about how medically dangerous gay acts, e.g. Sodomy is.
That is, Doesn't the medical community recommend that you, "Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom."?
Yet, now there are some in the medical community that now say it's OK to "Sleep with the waste that gets flushed down in the toilet?" and that it's possible to live a perfectly normal life.
For scoot Gillian or Justin biebers grandfather
Not so common sense.
I agree. I should be allowed into womens locker rooms to watch them naked. I mean, it's their stupid vanity problem that is the issue here. Show me them boobies! I promise I'll 'act like an adult'.
We're talking about locker rooms of the same sex being open to all members of that sex that play on a team or what have you. You going into a women's locker room is a different subject entirely. But then, Americans are generally childish about anything relating to nudity and have panicked reactions. Maybe we should be a bit more European about it and just respect people's freedoms without making it into a sexual controversy.
A little bit more European?
You mean like Germany or The Netherlands where I experienced both men and women in the same locker room? I don't have a problem with homosexuals in the locker room, but the rationalization that its not the same thing as unisex locker rooms is beyond ridiculous. Its EXACTLY the same thing, and its EXACTLY the same reason many people have a problem with it. Yes... we could learn a thing about maturity in sexual situations from the Europeans... but don't make unfounded speculative arguments differing the two situations.
Maybe some people aren't comfortable in their own skin
I was in the military and I have no doubt that I probably showered in the presence and with gay men. I didn't care then and wouldn't now. If you are self assured in your own orientation then it shouldn't bother you. In the medical fieldI have seen women's private parts and it doesn't give me an erection because I am doing my job, just like Sam, people need to keep it real.