A lot has transpired in recent weeks: Marcus Smart suspended for 3 games after pushing a fan in the stands; Derek Jeter announces this is his final year wearing Yankees’ pinstripes as he plans to retire after the 2014 season; the NBA All-Star break and the ongoing saga of the tumultuous locker room of the Miami Dolphins.
But what has captured the eyes of America is a third to fifth round NFL prospect from Missouri who announced to the world he is gay.
Is the NFL ready for this? I say both yes and no.
Michael Sam and the NFL
Sam will go down as one the most protected players in all of professional sport. No one is going to publicly come out and say “I don’t want to play with a gay teammate. I don’t like what he stands for,” the NFL won’t allow it. Even though the public and/or NFL players have the right to speak out about this, it won’t matter.
Sam privately announced to his teammates that he is gay during the season. Some say this dismisses the argument of the “locker room distraction” because it was not brought up during the season. However, that doesn’t mean players openly supported him. All locker rooms have a multitude of diverse backgrounds of race, religion, beliefs, and what they stand for. While some players will accept him, part of the locker room still wield the “this a man’s world” mentality. These are not college kids who abide by the rules of the coach and the athletic director, these are grown men who are paid millions of dollars and see the locker room as a place of brotherhood and manhood. Again, some players will accept him, but some won’t. That’s life.
Whatever the case may be, whoever drafts Sam better get use to the media prying the consensus of Sam’s affect in the locker room and how he is fitting in with the team.
The only thing that alarmed me about Michael Sam was people labeling him as a “hero.”
You might can call it brave, but announcing your sexual orientation does not make you a hero. But let me say this, a hero is definitely what you make he or she out to be. I’ve personally seen others around me overcome steeper and more drastic situations that would deem them as a hero.
Let me ask you this. In a society where 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce, is a straight man that stays in it until the end despite the hardships that may have happened in the marriage, would you call him a hero?
A hero is what you make it.
From a football standpoint: if Michael Sam can play, put him on the field. Point blank.
In an article published by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, he mentioned the progressive step in the diversity hiring after a dip that prompted the league to double down on its interview policies and practices.
There are currently seven African-American general managers in the NFL: Ozzie Newsome (BAL), Rick Smith (HOU), Jerry Reese (NYG), Martin Mayhew (DET), Reggie McKenzie (OAK), Doug Whaley (BUF), Ray Famer (CLE). As for as head coaches, four: Marvin Lewis (CIN), Mike Tomlin (PIT), and the recently hired Lovie Smith (TB), and Jim Caldwell (DET).
Part of this has been because of the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule requires National Football League teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates.
The best two coaching hirings of the offseason in my opinion was the Washington Redskins hiring Jay Gruden and Caldwell to the Lions. No matter what color they are, these were the best hirings. The objective is not to force teams to hire minority candidates because the color of their skin, but to hire the most suitable and competent aspirant to lead the organization.
What is wrong with you, Darren Sharper?
Former NFL player Darren Sharper has been charged with raping and drugging two women in California, and disclosed he is under investigation in connection with five more drug-related rapes in three other states, according to the Associated Press.
Excuse me for being blunt, but women would literally throw themselves at Sharper if they knew he was a former NFL player. He was a T.V. personality, named an All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and a second with the Saints.
Yet, despite all of this, Sharper made the decision to allegedly drug and rape women? And quite frankly, the fact that he is an African-American facing these alleged charges all but seals his fate.
Unless evidence proves otherwise, but that’s unlikely to happen in this case.