Michael Sam, the Mizzou foootball player who came out as gay and attempted to become the first openly gay player in the NFL got his wish. He was drafted in the 7th round of the NFL draft and ESPN had the camera in what seemed like somebody else’s kitchen (turns out he was in San Diego at a draft party….7th round? Must have been the longest party ever) since nan person in his family was there for the reaction as history was being made.
Then it happened. Michael Sams, flanked by his who I’m guessing is his boyfriend (?), began to cry as many a man who has been drafted has done, and his boothang rubbed his arm, then they did a quick kiss that was almost perfectly made for television. It almost seemed too convenient. Now, I don’t doubt the sincerity of it all but I’m sure ESPN was very happy to have caught that on tape and stayed and returned as much as humanly possible to that home that belonged to somebody. See, since Sam came out there’s been a mad dash towards tolerance. Which is a good thing. And the sports world has more or less gone out of its way to claim that it his sexuality isn’t an issue. Of course there are some folks who took issue but those vocal numbers are becoming smaller and smaller. It’s one of those times are changing eras. You either accept it or get left behind. Daniel Snyder could stand to learn a lesson or two.
But that kiss. All 1 seconds of it seemed to have sent off a riptide of reactions from people. See it’s one thing for people to know that a man is gay. But seeing a man be gay is a whole different ball game. No pun intended. The words came swift and ferocious (and many ended up being deleted).
Switching gears for a minute…do you all remember Karamo Brown from Real World: Philadelphia? Karamo doesn’t get enough credit for introducing many of us to a “non-stereotypical black gay male”. When Karamo let his castmates (and the viewing audience) know that he was gay it was one of those, “wait…what?” moments. For one, he didn’t fit most stereotypes of what we thought gay Black men were like. He was, in effect, like 99 percent of “regular” Black dudes. Namely, you just couldn’t tell by looking. This caused many of us to have to deal with the fact that wow, this whole “gay” thing was more complex than we realized or wanted it to be. But even still, him saying it was still a layer away from witnessing it.
Until he went clubbing one night. I remember watching that scene and realizing that despite having many gay friends, that was the first time I’d ever seen a man be gay. Like the act of showing lust, love, and emotions towards another man in a romantic way (in that scene). I called one of my boys, who was gay, and was like, man…I just realized I’ve never seen this before and its thrown me all the way off. Now…that was the point I realized that it was about me…not anybody else. Me and the homey had a long talk about it that night and I checked myself. Boo.
Fast forward to a few days ago and folks reactions to seeing that kiss are all over the place. Shouts out to the Bible were made. Folks were claiming that the kids will suffer seeing that on ESPN. The same argument against gay marriage…think of the kids. I don’t begrudge anybody their opinion, but I do think that some people reeeeeeeeeeally need to be careful about that one.
There are people who absolutely attempt to live their life as biblically as possible. My next door neighbors in high school were those people. They were down right Puritan. All the kids went to Bible College type of family. Impressively holding steadfast. Now, that ain’t most people. The REST of us have our own issues and chose to view a grown man pecking another grown man on the lips as the visual manifestation of what they weren’t ready for. Sure, he can be gay in the league as long as he keeps that gay sh*t at home. But when its being broadcast (and admittedly it was a bit gratuitous on ESPN’s part as I said earlier) its a step too far.
I get why its uncomfortable for people; I do. I also think its something that folks need to get over. Much like all change, folks are okay with it on their own terms until they blink and the world is different. They never really come around but they also can’t fight it anymore. Except today, social media makes it easier to yell your opinion from a mountaintop. What I find most interesting is folks feeling such a strong need to voice said opinion.
This isn’t the first or last time that folks feel such a need. I can almost understand folks being upset with ESPN. But I do think the shots being taken at Michael Sam are a bit much. Let that man cook.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the IDIOTIC “experiment” of Marshall Henderson, the Ole Miss basketball player who went full *CENSORED* on Twitter and then pretended he was just helping his homey out with a psychology experiment. Kids, you never go full *CENSORED*.
Anyway…thoughts? Reactions? Does it matter at all?
(Don’t worry, well get to Sterling’s trainwreck of an interview)