The Sports Brothers
Sam's coming out will test NFL
2/13/2014, 9 a.m.
Just like the real world, the American sports world is changing everyday. For years there has been major speculation about whether the NFL has had or will ever accept an openly gay player.
Surely we will find out very soon based on the events of this past weekend. Michael Sam, the reigning SEC defensive player of the year as well as a first-team All American defensive lineman who terrorized offensive tackles to the tune of 10 1/2 sacks in college football’s premier conference, announced that he was gay.
This is big news because what it means essentially is that Sam is one of the game's top prospects, in the upcoming NFL draft will probably be the first openly gay player in NFL history.
How will he be accepted in the locker room? Will his draft status take a tumble because of his announcement. Other questions will be how will teammates feel getting dressed in a locker room with an openly gay player.
It is not uncommon for NFL players to be partially or fully nude in the presence of teammates. Years ago this would have been career suicide, but like we stated earlier, the world is changing. Even with that understanding, is the sports world ready for this? The league is still dealing with the embarrassment of the Miami dolphins bullying scandal that involves Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. A case that clearly proves that an NFL locker room can be a cruel place, the racial and sexual banter that occurred in the Dolphins case happens in almost every NFL locker room.
Players say very mean things to each other, we are talking about testosterone city here, where the caveman mentality probably still exists. This situation will be to say the least very interesting.
Already the NFL is buzzing. Based on the fact that he is so talented Sam is expected to be a top draft choice, if he is not when the draft comes around that would be a bad look for the NFL.
Which team will welcome the media circus that is sure to follow his every move? Sam is expected to attend the upcoming scouting combine February 19th in Indianapolis. We should get a sneak peak of what the atmosphere will be surrounding this kid as gets ready to embark on his NFL career.
Lets face it, this will be difficult Sam will have to go through a whole lot because he is gay. He will be the story both outside and inside the locker room. He will have to win over his teammates whom many folks believe may have a hard time playing alongside him.
The league I'm sure will do its best but they are about to go through something none of us have ever witnessed before in terms of an openly gay player trying to break in the NFL at the beginning of his career.
That will be a major challenge not only for Sam but for all of the other players in America's most popular sport as well. Whatever side of the fence you stand on, I think we can agree on this. Michael Sam is a brave young man.