Increasingly, the world is learning to turn its attention away from homosexuality and toward other issues. Being gay is becoming a non-issue, just another fact of life. The military dropped its anti-gay policies long ago, even allowing uniformed troops to march in gay pride parades. One of the last bastions of discriminatory thought is the professional sports world. When NBA veteran Jason Collins came out as gay, NBA job offers dried up. Of course, Collins was already old by NBA standards and had spent his career bouncing around from team to team. That’s not the case for Michael Sam, the reigning SEC defensive player of the year. Michael Sam has come out as gay three months before the NFL Draft.
Sam, who is 6’2 and 260 pounds, was one of the top defensive players in the country. He’s small for his position, defensive tackle, but he had 11.5 sacks in a season in which Missouri shocked experts and ended the season among the top five teams in college football. Experts had slotted him in the draft anywhere from the third round to the seventh round, which seems low for the best defensive player in the best college football league in the country, but what do I know about drafting? Nothing. Either way, it is feared that Sam’s decision to come out will hurt his draft stock, despite support from players and coaches on Twitter.
“We’re really happy for Michael that he’s made the decision to announce this, and we’re proud of him and how he represents Mizzou,” said a statement issued by Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel. “Michael is a great example of just how important it is to be respectful of others, he’s taught a lot of people here first-hand that it doesn’t matter what your background is, or your personal orientation, we’re all on the same team and we all support each other.”
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