Featured, Race & Politics, Sports

Michael Sam, And The Black (And Gay) Politics Of Being “Twice As Good”

michael samThe analogy many gay rights activists and allies have made between their fight for equal rights and the Black American’s fight for civil rights is flawed, but I understand why it’s made. It’s a natural comparison, but it breaks down when considering that (most) Blacks can’t blend in. In America, Blackness is conspicuous, and this conspicuousness allows for the bias to be more pervasive and panoramic. Pointing this out doesn’t minimize the struggles and fight of the gay community. It just recognizes it’s two completely separate battles with some similarities.

One of these similarities is playing out in front of us with Michael Sam, who was recently cut by the St. Louis Rams, and has gone three days now without any NFL team picking him up, and apparently will not be asked to join the Rams practice squad.

To be fair, Sam may still get picked up by an NFL team. It might even happen before I finish writing this. In fact, the ESPN ticker tells me he’s being invited to Dallas to try out for the Cowboys. But it’s not official yet, and considering his talent and production level, his story reminds me of a story my dad shared with me a few times.

My dad grew up in New Castle, Pa, a small town roughly an hour north of Pittsburgh. He was a high school student in the early 60s, and he remembers an unwritten policy carried by the basketball team. Black players were allowed on the team. You could even be a star. But, you were not going to be Black and ride the bench. Basically, you couldn’t be Black and be average. If you were Black with starter or star talent, you made the team. If you were Black with bench warmer talent, you’d be better off trying out for the YMCA league.

This policy’s existence is no surprise to anyone who either grew up in that era or had/has parents and grandparents who did, and it’s an accurate synopsis of the politics of prejudice. True progress isn’t Jackie Robinson making the Brooklyn Dodgers. It’s the .220 Black hitter with the above average arm making the Dodgers. It’s not a superstar openly gay athlete making a roster. It’s a team deciding a below-average openly gay player is worth keeping, is worth the distraction his gayness provides.

Scandal‘s Rowan Pope, father of Olivia Pope, put it best:

“You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have”

Michael Sam, still unemployed NFL free agent, would probably agree.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Wild Cougar

    sooo they passed on him cuz he’s gay? I’m not sure what you’re saying. If he were twice as good they would have….If he were in the closet they would have……a straight man with the same performance would have…….?

    *gets headache*

    • Damon Young

      the “gay thing” is easier to deal with if he’s a star. If he’s not a star — and he’s not a star — the gay thing becomes an unwanted distraction.

      • Wild Cougar

        Doesn’t that totally conflict with the announcing the thing for the press and making a show of kissing your bf making it a distraction or are we assuming he “had” to do that cuz otherwise the press would have made a thing of it. Cuz, if I’m seeing through the maze of hypothetical assumptions you gotta make, and the headache its giving me, it looks like he made a distraction to make up for the less than stellar performance.

        Basically, it’s not the gay thing that makes it a distraction and less worth it unless he’s a star. Its the publicity that makes it a distraction and balances out the distraction by giving the team good publicity. Because you have to consider the possibility of the past NFL players who the team knew was gay and didn’t make a media event out of it. Which is where the divide is with Black and gay. You can be in the closet, kinda open cuz everybody knows but nobody says anything or annouce it to the media. You can invite your boyfriend to the team party and do some pda or keep your private life private. Each situation is gonna have a different result and neither of them can be analogized cleanly with being Black.

        • Natalie Degraffinried

          Not to say that Sam is completely innocent of attracting any of the publicity himself… But isn’t the hoopla* around it more a function of how implicitly anti-gay/don’t ask don’t tell-esque (adjective game on 10 tonight) the NFL is? I’m not sure if you’re suggesting that he should have just stayed “in the closet” in spite of all of the clear health negatives that causes for people, or if you’re strictly talking about the black/gay analogy in hypothetical terms. In those terms, it almost seems like you’d have to be a superstar in order to have any right to share that you’re gay publicly, but I may be having trouble making sense of your making sense of this. @_@

          *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yICai9wwRl4

          • Wild Cougar

            I think his team already knew but even if they didn’t it’s really hard for me to have any concern over the mental health consequences of him not being allowed to announce his sexuality when our society doesn’t give any thought to the mental health consequences of watching black people murdered and raped by law enforcement and watching people give them thousands as a reward. Call me homophobic but if keeping it to yourself makes you sad there’s pills for that.

            • Natalie Degraffinried

              …I won’t call you that, but I will point out that you just equated mental health issues with ‘sadness’ and, except to point out that LGBT folks (younger people in particular) have waaaay higher suicide rates than most, leave it at that for the moment.

              In any case… Since he’s black AND gay… Does he just tuck away his being gay for now…? I’m really confused. This is a bit of a stretch logic-wise. It’s possible to live one reality and have empathy for other (or in this case, to realize that they probably live BOTH to some extent). You’re giving me “but what about this other issue” right now and it’s really not a sound argument, especially for Michael Sam, who, unless I’m crazy, is black. And also had this to say:

              “I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a
              gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her. My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him … my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail. Telling the world I’m gay is nothing compared to that.” He also said he got maced as a kid when someone was trying to arrest his brother. (from ESPN interviews)

              Like I said–I don’t see it for ‘be quiet because the media will care.’ He may have hammed it up a little*, and there are huge problems with media coverage of LGBT everything, but it’s really nonsensical to play up his actions and assume his intent to say that he created a national media “distraction” for the PURPOSE of covering something up as if that wouldn’t put a target on his back. That’s counterintuitive, and people weren’t even thinking it until homophobic heads in sports started waxing poetic about how distracting it was because he disrupted their news cycles and got in their pockets a little bit (or in the case of journalists, gave them something to create homoantagonistic clickbait for).

              *I don’t necessarily agree with this either, by the way. He wasn’t seeming troubled or suddenly relieved and fitting in with most people’s sort-of-shamed narratives of how gay people should act so people decided he was to bold about it. MEH.

              • Wild Cougar

                Let me ask you this. Teenagers kill themselves for a lot of reasons. A lot of people suffer from mental illness. A lot of people don’t kill themselves because of their issues. Without interpreting this as a judgment on who is better than the other, why should our society cater to the mental health needs of one group because they “may” kill themselves if they don’t feel free to express themselves? If you are having a problem dealing with expressing your sexuality, to put it bluntly, that’s a personal problem. You want equal rights? Fine. But don’t ask me to twist myself into a pretzel so you feel comfortable. If I don’t like watching you kiss your boyfriend you are gonna deal with my dislike. That’s how it works in society.

                • Natalie Degraffinried

                  The same reason you target any other at-risk group for ANYthing…? Do I really need to explain this? There’s no way I actually need to explain this. Because I’d essentially be explaining why suicide is bad, and like… bruh. Come on. Also: calling it a personal problem when societal stigma are violence are the impetus seems reeeal off to me. You’re reaching again.

                  And I’m confused about where anyone said you had to twist yourself into a pretzel to make them feel comfortable… I’m also confused about you seeming not to have the choice everyone else has to not follow it or turn the TV off. Or why you think other people need to “deal with” your dislike when you don’t want to deal with their reality. It’s great you know about police violence, but having an opinion about one thing doesn’t mean you need to have an opinion about everything.

                  • Wild Cougar

                    “It’s great you know about police violence, but having an opinion about one thing doesn’t mean you need to have an opinion about everything”

                    LMAO. I’m going to have an opinion and I’m gonna express it, fearlessly and relentlessly. It’s who I am.

                    Whether we “target” the LGBTQ community as “at risk” and needing of special treatment because society makes them feel bad, over and above any laws or policies we change to ensure equal rights, is really up to whether people feel like doing it. I’m not really seeing a need for it. There are societal stigmas for a lot of things, like, um, polygamy. Or being Black. I’m not interested in changing hearts and minds. Laws? you got me. Get your equal rights like hot cross buns and as for the rest of your emotional issues, you’re on your own.

                    • Natalie Degraffinried

                      Suicide prevention is not ‘special treatment.’ You seem to have a really dated (and unsubstantiated, given several thousand mental health studies to date at this point) view of mental health as well. I’m not sure if you don’t really pay attention to healthcare policy as it relates to mental health or the problems with it (or the people already trying to fix it), but I don’t have more to say about that except please read about the negative impacts of mental health stigma and lack of knowledge on both the gay AND black communities and the nation at large. Or at least the black community, since you clearly don’t see anyone else as being worth your time. Also–I don’t understand how you can so blatantly ignore the impact of societal climate on changes in legislation. Like… Come on. This has gotten extreeeemely silly. Done here.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Bye! LMAO. Have a nice day. Not agreeing =/= not understanding, btw.

                    • PunchDrunkLove

                      “I’m going to have an opinion and I’m gonna express it, fearlessly and relentlessly. It’s who I am.”

                      THIS!!

                    • Reemo

                      ” If you are having a problem dealing with expressing your race, to put it bluntly, that’s a personal problem. You want equal rights? Fine. But don’t ask me to twist myself into a pretzel so you feel comfortable. If I don’t like watching you being black you are gonna deal with my dislike. That’s how it works in society.”

                      “I think his team already knew but even if they didn’t it’s really hard for me to have any concern over the mental health consequences of him not being allowed to announce his race when our society doesn’t give any thought to the mental health consequences of watching poor white people *insert any number of issues those wackos like to talk about here*. Call me racist but if keeping it to yourself makes you sad there’s pills for that. ”

                      “LMAO. I’m going to have an opinion and I’m gonna express it, fearlessly and relentlessly. It’s who I am.”

                      You sound like one of those racists that you seem to hate so much

                      *Sidenote: Yes, I know being black and being gay are not the same but the the hate speech directed at each group sure does sound similar

                    • Wild Cougar

                      You gotta be kidding me? Switching out gay for black? That’s your argument. Come up with something fresh.

                      Newsflash: I do not give a fcuk if you don’t like my blackness. I am not gonna commit suicide if black culture disgusts you. Just give me equal rights and stay out of my way.

                      *whispers* That’s whats called consistency from someone who has already thought about 25 steps ahead of your tired and lame arguments which you haven’t upgraded because people are usually scared silent by the name calling.

                      If you need to call any argument disagreeing with you hate speech in order to bully and coerce people into expressing sympathy and agreement with your lifestyle, that’s gonna be a little counter productive with people like me who don’t fall into line and jump on bandwagons.

                      Now, if I sound like a racist and that makes you sad, there’s a pill for that because I really don’t have anything for you.

                    • Reemo

                      “You gotta be kidding me? Switching out gay for black? That’s your argument. Come up with something fresh.”

                      Like ”oohhh I’ve heard that before, come up with something new”

                      “*whispers* That’s whats called consistency from someone who has already
                      thought about 25 steps ahead of your tired and lame arguments which you
                      haven’t upgraded because people are usually scared silent by the name
                      calling.”

                      No need. I’m merely pointing out the similarities between the ignorance that came through some of your posts today and the ignorance that many racists spew and that is embedded in them just as homophobia is embedded in you. I don’t need to upgrade my argument cause I don’t sit around waiting for a chance to inject my hatred into a discussion (unless we’re talking about the Cowboys)

                      Your strategy seems to be to use all of your words and be the loudest one in the room. Good luck with that. It’s not my lifestyle so I’m going to keep on rocking

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Bye hater

                    • Reemo

                      I’m not going anywhere bae. I’ll be around

                    • Wild Cougar

                      You can stay and I will stay being fabulous. You can bite my arguments, too. I’ll take that as a compliment to my ability.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Let me break it down for you in a way that maybe you can understand. The idea that how a person feels about being stigmatized should be addressed by society was cemented with the flawed logic in the Brown v. Board of education.

                      Why was it flawed? Because before that case, what people were fighting for was equal resources, not integration. Get it? The objective wasn’t to be with white people and be accepted by them. The objective was to get the equal amount of money to educate our children so they could compete with white people in our own economy.

                      How did we come upon this idea that we need white people’s acceptance and “tolerance” in order to be ok with being black? It was a little legal jiu jitsu. See they didn’t have any luck with getting equal resources so they figured why not let the black kids go to the schools with the good resources. But they had to convince the judges why that was necessary.

                      Think about it for a second. Why isn’t it ok if the schools are actually equal in every way except they are segregated. There isn’t a good legal argument for that. So they created an emotional one. They argued that the little black children were so emotionally devastated by being separated from white children that they were unable to learn.

                      Did you catch that? We can’t learn if white people aren’t near us. They believed, rightly, that this was an argument that would appeal to white people. Integration is necessary because we need white presence to have mental health.. Cuz Stigma

                      Now we see where this flawed and racist logic has gotten us. Being openly racist is taboo. Being actually racist is fine. The word racist is so bad that calling someone that is considered more offensive than actually being racist. All the while, the white supremacy infrastructure sped along unchanged, happy that a fresh coat of paint was applied and all you need to do is say the right words and everything is ok.

                      The strategy was so successful, it was copied, co-opted and used as a weapon by the gay rights movement. If it aint broke, don’t fix it, right? Problem is, as you can see with current events, it is broke. The analogy is broken because gay and black are not analogous. The analogy is broken because if you apply it to law you get legislation and court cases full of holes (talk to polygamists in a few years). The analogy is broken because not only was it used to get legal rights, it was used as a stick to beat up anyone who didn’t fall into line, most visibly, black people, the ones they stole the movement strategy from in the first place. Quite ironic how white gays steal a civil rights strategy then use it to scapegoat the people they stole it from.

                      The not so funny part is the strategy is still based on flawed logic. The logic that how people feel about others needs to be addressed with social pressure. I don’t believe in it and I don’t ascribe to it. Therefore you can call what I say hate, bigotry, homophobia till the cows come home. I’m more intelligent than your second hand broken misused strategy. So it doesn’t work on me.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      smh, simple narratives, simplistic analogies and false equivalencies for simple minds…. No wonder the masses are lulled asleep

              • Epsilonicus

                Talked about media coverage overblown. ESPN reported his supposed shower habits. If that aint overkill idk what is.

                • menajeanmaehightower

                  Exactly. I hate the media sometimes.

                • Natalie Degraffinried

                  I saw that when I was looking up that ESPN article when he talks about his family… Like… There HAVE to be better ways to breathe life into a story. HAVE to be

                  • Epsilonicus

                    That report was blatantly messy. There was no effort to be anything other than that

      • LadyIbaka

        Wait…..he is NOT a star? So all the hullabaloo is courtesy of his sexuality not ability?!? Oi.

        • menajeanmaehightower

          Pretty much. No one would know who he was if not for the hoopla over is chexuality. I blame the media for making a huge deal out of it. I understand some of the attention but ESPN, blogs, and other media outlets went overboard.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Not really. His chexuality was as bad of a secret as Tiger Wood’s fidelity in golf circles. The man was preparing to participate in the most invasive process in his life the NFL draft. The scouts / PI’s were going to find out and expose him. Coming out was his chance to control the narrative.

            A parallel example would be if you smoked weed to relieve cancer symptoms and had a prescription. You’re applying to a new job and they ask you to pee in the cup. Do you control the narrative and tell your potential job or to you let the piss results speak for you?

            • menajeanmaehightower

              He never came out!!!! The dude was open in college. People at Missouri knew he was gay and it wasn’t a big deal. The media took this and ran with it.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                He did come out. To his teammates first and fully a few days before the combine.

                • menajeanmaehightower

                  That’s not true.

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    Tis true dear. Facts will follow. Got a conference call in 15 minutes.

                    • menajeanmaehightower

                      From the reports, his teammates already knew (since he was dating another athlete at the school) so when he sad “i’m gay” they all looked at him like “ok.”

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      You’re saying what I just said and been saying. His chexuality was as bad of a secret as Tiger Wood’s fidelity in golf circles given his he came out in front of his teammates first. The rest of us knew before the combine. Sam’s words are similar to my drug test analogy

                      “I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it” – Michael Sam

                      http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/09/draft-prospect-michael-sam-comes-out-as-gay/

                    • menajeanmaehightower

                      But what does that have to do with my beginning point? The media blew this up. Completely. And horribly mind you. No one would know who he was if not for the media being all over him being gay because he was not great. He was barely good when compared with the rest of his class and when it came time to prove himself at the combine and during practices, he just couldn’t cut it consistently.

                      I commend him for being himself and putting himself out there but regardless of him being gay or not, he wasn’t as good as the guys picked who play in his position. That’s just a fact. If he were stellar, then he would be on a team now, starting in the fall but he isn’t. It’s not because he’s gay, it’s because he is mediocre when compared with the guys in the NFL.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Your point still goes back to Champ’s point; both players that have come out are marginal / situational / role players at best and gay marginal players must do more than a non gay marginal player.

                      Yes the media ran with it because that’s what they do. Sam did his best to control a story that was going to get out there anyway.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Yeah. He was completely innocent in this. He wasn’t being opportunistic at all….cuz he’s gay, after all.

              • My understanding that his teammates and most of the campus knew (Like Britney Griner) but someone was going to out him in the media. Not sure how true that is so he was went on the record.

        • Epsilonicus

          Here is the thing. He is co-defensive player of the year in SEC. He has talent. The issue is that he was a 7th round pick on a team that was DEEP at his position. However, he proved in pre-season that he can rush the QB. Normally if you can do that, you should have a job.

          • As much of an SEC stan I have to admit being a stud in the SEC doesn’t equate to being one in the NFL. (Take a look at all of those beasts Bama has had on their teams then take a look at their NFL production.) That should never be a metric for NFL success. It’s no different than someone putting up tons of points in college hoops then not sticking in the league. (Like Jervaughn Scales or Bubba Wells)

            • Epsilonicus

              But that is why I included the pre-season too in order to provide a more full position. Plus he a rookie so I have to include that as part of his body of work. If he was years in, then I would not have included college

              • Some of the things he needs to learn can’t just be picked up in the span of a pre-season. It’s akin to becoming a switch hitter in baseball during spring training. Sam is a missile that should be pointed at quarterbacks and nothing else. Think of Tim Harris that used to play for the Packers back in the day.

                • Epsilonicus

                  But thats why I think he should make a practice squad. If you can get at QBs, you should have a job in the NFL.

  • My enjoyment of this post greatly increased because of the baseball reference. Anyway, Sam’s play has indicated that he’s worth a roster spot for teams that run a 4-3 and aren’t loaded with depth on the line. The distraction argument I don’t buy much considering NFL teams routinely have mediocre talent on rosters with frequent arrests, positive PED tests, and have tested positive for drugs.

    • Yes because you know better than the team coaches and trainers who have been doing this for years.

  • Sam will make a team. If he were drafted by a team that had a whack defensive line he would be on a roster right now but he wasn’t. If he were gay and could get after the QB like Robert Quinn or Chris Long then he would have secured a beachhead for the next gay player. Many trailblazers are extremely talented like Jackie Robinson. Once you get a few superstar level guys then the regular lunch pale guys can make the team.

    • The one thing I will say is that Sam can kill the QB, if nothing else. If he can get 5-8 sacks a season as a designated pass rusher, he’ll stick around for a few years. But you’re right about Jackie Robinson. Apparently, baseball was his weakest sport, and he was considered good enough in track to try for the Olympics. He was a freak athlete before the term was thought of.

      • Honestly, he could actually play for the Cowboys considering how much their edge rushers can’t edge rush.

        • I remember during the VSB fantasy footbal draft Rewing referring to the Cowboys defense as “shaky as the 26th step in Jenga”. With Sam, they’re at the 23rd. LOL

          • Epsilonicus

            It will definitely take more than Michael Sam to help that defense. They might be worse than last year.

            • They need some corners who don’t pop molly or date Draya too.

              • Epsilonicus

                Touche my friend. Touche.

              • OUCH! You didn’t have to go there. LOL

                • I don’t believe she gave the molly to him but dude you aren’t winning with her long-term. Similar to dating Joe Budden.

              • Epsilonicus

                I heard Wes Welker pop mollys too. Is that true?

                • He said someone slipped it to him at the Kentucky Derby…riggghhtttt!!!

                  • Epsilonicus

                    I heard he was giving out money during the KD. I could have used a few of those 100s

                    • I don’t understand these dudes. Don’t hit girls, stay in shape, don’t do drugs, and you will be paid to play a children’s game. How do you mess that up?

                    • The last part about being “paid to play a children’s game” is how you mess that up. As Marcellus Wiley said, you have a lot of 21 year old men with 40 year old paper who don’t know how to handle it.

          • Damn!

        • Sigma_Since 93

          The other issue is that they moved him to the edge in the combine; I thought he was a line backer in college.

  • YasiinThaKilla

    Im tired of the black and gay comparisons.. if a gay person walks in a room you could never know it.. But if i walk in a room you will see im black.. Being black is a state of being, and gayness is the act of doing..

    • Damon Young

      did you even read this? specifically, did you even read the first paragraph?

    • LadyIbaka

      Did you type this out to “knuck if you buck”? That’s how I read it.

      • IcePrincess

        Wutchu know bout crime mob lol

        • LadyIbaka

          Girrrrrrrl, my first party in school as a fresh out of the boat African had me at Jesus cover me with your precious blood, send Arch Angel Michael for extra coverage with his massive wings, I don’t want none of this. Maphakkaz were wildin the phakk out, the dread heads were shaking their locks like they wanted their heads to dislocate, the girls were gearing up to fight Shaqueeniky style. And there I was with my fresh out the boat eyeballs bout to fall out! Buuuuuuuut, the next time it came on, shiiiiid, you couldn’t tell me nuffin! That’s what I know bout dem! :)

          • IcePrincess

            Heeeey aye yaaaae, it’s a party in the USA. *miley Cyrus voice* I remeber HS parties like that, but ours were mostly Outkast or No Limit

    • Natalie Degraffinried

      If a black gay person walks into a room, is she doing being? Is she a walking existential crisis? If a tree falls in the woods, does it make the sound of one cheek clapping?

  • Secret Sauce

    Just to put Sam’s preseason performance in perspective, he had 3 sacks in four games. The Dallas Cowboys only recorded 5 during that same span.

  • Damn literally right as I finished this article I get an update to my phone that the Cowboys are gonna sign him to the practice squad lol. But I think this is just a case of him not being super talented, and like someone mentioned, the Rams already have depth at his position. Also, his whole story strikes me as gimmicky. I’m not saying he’s not gay but he definitely tried to use it to his advantage in my eyes.

    • Damon Young

      yeah, i see that the cowboys invited him to take a physical

      • It’s funny it happened right after the article was posted

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Jerry will say Sam’s a Texas boy, others will say Jerry’s about that money and having a guy who’s jersey was the #7 seller is a prudent business move given the jersey sales will surpass his salary as a practice player.

          • Yea I didn’t even think about that I forgot his jersey was a top seller. Now on a team as popular as the cowboys it’s sure to go up. That’s definitely what Jerry was thinking

          • Neptunes presents The Clones

            How come the Cowboys are so popular and they have not won in ages

            • Capitalist Brotha

              Winning is only a part of it.

              Same reason why the Spurs will never be the Knicks, even though they haven’t won since the Nixon administration.

            • in the 1970’s when the NFL took baseball’s lunch the Cowboys gained a national following due to MNF and winning. The western was one of out biggest cultural exports around the world. It can be argued that part of the American mystique is that we are viewed as loud swaggering Cowboys. Outside of the areas that they play, followed closely by teams like the Steelers, they gained a foothold in areas that didn’t have teams. So in a sense they are “America’s team”. I can’t stand them but their ability to draw eyeballs can’t be argued with.

            • The Cowboys do well because they are a symbol of a football-mad state. It’s similar to the Knicks being the symbol of a basketball-mad city. They are as much a part of Texas as beef BBQ and oil money. Wu Young covers the football reasons.

    • IcePrincess

      “I’m not saying he’s not gay but….” This brought a smirk to my face

      • haha I tried to word that part carefully just in case

    • He’s also young so one day he’s going to look back at that draft kiss, Oprah’s reality show, hes supposedly going to be on Monday Night Raw and see that he’s taken his eye off the ball

      • Well, he won’t be the first, or last, athlete to f*ck up the game. Let him live. :)

      • Epsilonicus

        The draft kiss is sketchy to blame though. What do you do to your spouse? Hand shake them? That would be weird.

        • Paradigm

          C’mon tho Eps.. It wasn’t the kiss.. I was watching the draft and I caught THE KISS.. The whole thing w/ the cake was waaaaayyyyy extra.. I’m sitting there like okay I get it.. Sam is gay but this is over the top

          When have you ever seen another guy who gets drafted smash cake in his significant others face.. A wedding this was not

    • Look on the bright side. Considering the “Tony Romo is gay” jokes over the years, he won’t have the most homophobic slurs thrown at him on the team. :)

      • This is true. As an Eagles fan I can attest to that

  • The reality is that if not for him being openly gay and all the media attention to him being the first openly gay player in the draft, he would not have been drafted. Great college player, but the NFL is a completely different monster.

    • Damon Young

      i disagree. i actually think he dropped because of him being gay.

      • LadyIbaka

        But from reading the comments, this dude is like my boo Ibaka who is out here demanding a pay increase that is not consistent with his skill level, there’s talk of him possibly getting traded. Sooooo, if he is just an average player, if I’m the teamowner, your ass getting dropped. At the end of the day, it’s just business not personal.

  • Ehhh, this is a universal thing, not just in America. It doesn’t necessarily get dealt with if you work 2 times or even 3 times harder.

    My uncle on my father’s side was a well renowned Petroleum Engineer in the Soviet Union, after it’s collapse in the late 80’s. He returned back home to live with his wife and family, in a predominantly Igbo state (he’s Yoruba) and yet in a country, with few or any petroleum engineers, and is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world, he could not get a job whatsoever. The family had to rely on his wife to survive for quite some time, until they could move to England and he could get a six figure salary.

    Meritocracies are rare in human history, and even when they are attempted at, rarely can they fight the forces of nepotism, favoritism, tribalism or any forms of group-ism/identity-ism from generation to generation. It’s an act of rationality and common sense, to put people in a position to benefit you based off your own self-interest, despite how uncomfortable their existence or livelihood might make you. If Michael Sam is good enough (I don’t know, haven’t really paid attention since draft day) hopefully, he’ll get picked up by someone who finds him beneficial to their self-interest as an organization.

    • Damon Young

      “Meritocracies are rare in human history”

      this is one of the reasons I love the NBA

  • moderation

  • LadyIbaka

    This was a really enjoyable read, like eating pork fide rice and shiken wongs!

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