Point of View
Game Changer
By Trevor Roberts
Feb 12, 2014 - 5:57:50 AM

UNITED STATES—A major announcement took place in professional sports on Sunday, February 9, when NFL prospect Michael Sam openly announced that he is gay. This is a momentous moment not just in the NFL, but in sports period.  Sam sets the possible groundwork, to encourage more players who may be afraid about acknowledging their sexuality in the open sphere. He acknowledged that he came out to his teammates quite some time ago, and they were quite supportive of their teammate.


There is a fear in the sports arena that if you openly admit that you are homosexual your chances at a career in the pros is greatly diminished, because let’s face it, while we’ve made countless strides to being more tolerant in regards to sexuality, there is still that bundle or group of individuals who are not as open to the idea.  That group is hindering us from becoming a society that embraces all people regardless of the lifestyle that he or she may live. 

Michael_Sam_1.jpg
Michael Sam

 

The University of Missouri All-American wanted to ensure his story came out before someone else leaked it. The athlete has received loads of support from celebrities who have turned to Twitter to show support including Magic Johnson, Alyssa Milano, Bette Midler and Jason Collins to a name a few. The news further reiterates that the sports arena is becoming more accepting of this issue that has been a bit decisive in the past. Last year, NBA player Jason Collins admitted that he was gay, which some would say set a precedent for more athletes to be comfortable coming out to the public. 

 

Sam is considered a top pick for the upcoming NFL draft, so being picked up by a team could definitely encourage more gay players to openly acknowledge their sexuality in the public sphere.  What would be great to see are those who admire the sport to embrace not only the athlete, but the idea of a taboo issue in sports not being so taboo anymore?  Sam’s acknowledgement is a badge of honor, encouragement and hope for so many other athletes afraid of potentially being scolded or not accepted for being openly gay in either the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL.  What happens NFL draft day, can indeed change the direction of professional sports as we know it.



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