Gay Pro Athletes

by ahymes3562 on February 17, 2014 - 10:51pm

It’s the year 2014, and we’ve endured many social and cultural changes that have affected the societal landscape forever. One of these hot button social changes is the idea of gay rights. The article I chose was a New York Times article from February 10th of this year. The article covered the coming out of University Of Missouri and potential NFL Defensive End , Michael Sam. If sam is indeed drafted to the NFL, he will become the first openly gay player in NFL history. This announcement comes just about a year after NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay. However, Collins has yet to play in an NBA game since his announcement. The article covers an interview with Sam where he proclaims he wanted to come out on his own terms. According to the article, Sam had publicly came out to his fellow teammates in August before the season had started, and had received an overwhelmingly positive response. In turn, Sam churned out an 11/1/2 sack season and was named the vert elite Southeastern Conference's Co-Defensive Player of The Year. Sam claimed he wasn’t afraid to be who he was, and was ready to take on a career in the NFL. He also claimed to have played down any light homophobic remarks that his teammates had made.

With this announcement, a groundbreaking path of progress has been opened up. This article seems to be a way of inspiring others, possibly even other professional athletes to stand up and not be afraid to admit their sexuality. Although it lists a few examples of some negative attention towards allowing gay players in locker rooms, the article does a good job at highlighting Sam’s fearlessness towards coming out on his own terms. 3 dimensions that this article covers are relevance, significance and depth. This article is highly relevant considering this is still a relatively fresh story. Plus, with the aforementioned social change going on right now, this is a story that many can connect to and reflect on, whether you are gay or straight. In terms of significance, this article could open the door to many more breakthroughs and might even change the social landscape amongst sports locker room cultures. With regards to depth, it’s a difficult topic to predict the outcome. Michael Sam hasn’t entered an NFL locker room, let alone been drafted yet. There have been polls being held since this interview and article were published. But keeping around the time it was released, there was a decent unknown whether or not this guy had a shot at being drafted after his announcement. The difficulties will not be totally known until that day comes where he’s thrusted into a situation. But that in itself is a fairly predictable hurdle that he’ll have to leap over. I am not personally gay, but know people who are, and don’t really think much different of them. Based on some polls, NFL players seems to have a similar thought process, they want a guy who can help them win, regardless of being gay or straight. That is why I chose this topic and this particular article. Cultural change happens everyday and if it should happen in the NFL, then we can all look back at this moment with Michael Sam and remember where it all started.

Branch, John. (2014) N.F.L. Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay.


First off, I really liked your article. It clearly explained how homosexuality has been a taboo subject in sports for so long now. As you were saying, however, this is all changing for the better. You quickly mentioned about Jason Collins’ example. As you may know, he has now made history by being the first openly gay pro athlete in the four major sports leagues in America. As reported by the NY Daily News, he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA about a week ago. I think this is significant as it shows the cultural change that you were referring to. Perhaps the next step now is when this type of story will not be news anymore. This is when the cultural change will be truly completed.

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