Football season is finally here and for the first time in NFL history, we finally have an openly-gay player—MICHAEL SAM!!! Standing at 6’2 and 261 lbs, Sam made his preseason debut this past Friday, August 8, 2014, as they went up against the New Orleans Saints.
Many of us watched the emotion literally pouring out of Sam while he kissed his boyfriend a couple months back as this Defensive End was drafted to the St. Louis Rams. This was a proud moment for gay men everywhere because it showed progress—not only in the world of sports, but in America!
Football, like many sports, has historically been dominated by heterosexual men (from what we, the viewers, know). The aggression that the sport calls for is a characteristic that many believe gay men do not have. While the media is constantly feeding us images of gay men prancing around in heals or wearing make-up (see The Real Housewives of Atlanta), I can see how someone who is unfamiliar with the idea of being “gay” may not be able to imagine a gay man fitting in with something considered to be “manly.” Okay let me backtrack, there is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing yourself by wearing make-up, wearing heals…etc. However, it is important for everyone else to understand that we are not all the same!
Gay men come in all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, personalities…etc just like everyone else. Michael Sam being a professional football player supports this idea while adding another dimension of what being “gay” looks like. Being gay does NOT have a look! Simple as that. I hope you guys will be following Michael Sam, #52, on his journal in the NFL this season like I will. Michael Sam, along with Jason Collins and Derrick Gordon, is a symbol of endless possibilities for our community. Never put yourself in a BOX just because someone is comfortable with you there. Stay Nspired by Michael Sam.