I’ll apologize in advance for writing about Missouri defensive end Michael Sam this morning.
It sort of falls under the category of “if you don’t write about it, you’re not doing your job” — despite the fact that I personally couldn’t care less about Sam’s sexuality.
I’m the guy, you might have heard me say over the years, who once employed a soccer player who was bi-sexual. It was known before he came to Baltimore to play for me — and most of my players were aware of this “strange dude”, as one or two called him — but I couldn’t have possibly cared less. I needed good soccer players, period. He was one, so I was more than happy to have him.
I had one or two challenging things — making sure his road roommate was comfortable, etc. — but by and large, his time with the team was smooth sailing. If only he actually would have played well for me, I might have kept him around a lot longer.
Fast forward to the Michael Sam story. For the first time ever, a team in the NFL will have to employ a gay football player. I wrote the words “have to” because Sam is getting selected in the May draft. That’s a done deal. Where? Who knows…
There will also be teams who pass on Sam despite an “obvious” need for a defensive end and they’ll need to answer those questions when they don’t select him if he’s available.
Then there will be the inevitable first-time, big story that surfaces in the locker room of the team that does draft him when a player throws a sexually derogative taunt at Sam. What happens then?
Akil Patterson, an openly gay athlete who formerly played football at Maryland, joined me from 6am-7:30am to talk about his history and the Sam story and shed some light on the issue from a gay man’s perspective.
I have a lot more to add, but Akil’s in with me now, so I better go back to doing radio.