I’m not a football fan. I have no desire to watch games on TV, and if drug to a live game, I will promptly grab the strongest drink that I pass and enjoy myself in that way. Football, for me, means alcohol and socialization, not watching a game. But, when something like Michael Sam’s media coverage is plastered on my Facebook and Twitter, I have to pay some attention; it’s the price of wanting to stay current. So naturally, I have some opinions. Apparently, Michael Sam was recently compared to Tim Tebow, and I just had to put my foot down and say something about it. Namely, that sports media shouldn’t care whether a player is gay, straight, Christian, Buddhist, black, white, purple, or believes in the holiness of the flying spaghetti monster. It. Doesn’t. Matter. You know what should matter to sports media? Player stats. You know where speculations and discussions about belief systems, sexuality, and religion of players belong? With fans. The sexuality of a player should not be making major news coverage. Should football fans/players be excited about Michael Sam getting drafted? Absolutely. But I see no point in sports media reporting on anything that does not pertain to sports.
In other words, Michael Sam’s sexuality does not affect his sack record, so STOP TALKING ABOUT IT ON THE NATIONAL NEWS.
The comparison between Michael Sam and Tebow is relevant only so far that it focuses on something other than his football performance – making him a martyr, or the face of the gay NFL, ensures more publicity for the NFL, and especially for the St. Louis Rams. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was picked solely as PR fodder.
It pisses me off that Sam has to be ‘A Gay Football Player’ instead of just a football player who happens to be gay, just like Tim Tebow is an “abnormally strong Christian football player” instead of a football player who just happens to be a strong Christian. Beliefs like that should come secondary in that industry; it shouldn’t be the media making a big deal about “The First Gay Football Player,” it should be football fans with strong beliefs about LGBT equality.
And that’s how it’s going to be for his entire career. It’s really kind of sad.
Because this is why persecution issues still exist. The media can’t get over the ethnicity/religion/sexuality of a famous person or politician, and suddenly it becomes a talking point for EVERYONE, even though it shouldn’t be a big deal for anyone except the kids that look up to the people in question.
It’s just stupid. Everything is politics, and it shouldn’t be. Football is football, it shouldn’t be about ‘huge steps in the LGBT community.’ Thinking like that is why our nation is still ass backwards, acceptance wise. We can’t accept a homosexual on a football team without making a massive deal about it. That speaks to our priorities as a nation.