Like Alvin McEwen, I too read the Huffington Post article about the “18 worst reactions to the coming out of Missouri College football player Michael Sam.” But then I was heartened to hear Dale Hansen “Unplugged.” The sportcaster for the Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate had a few words for us all the other night:
Missouri’s All-American defensive end Michael Sam — the SEC’s defensive player of the year and expected to be a third to fifth-round pick in the NFL draft — tells the world he’s gay.
The best defensive player in college football’s best conference only a third to fifth round NFL pick? Really? That is shocking, and I guess that other thing is, too.
Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn’t be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that’s a man’s world.
You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You’re the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft.
You kill people while driving drunk? That guy’s welcome.
Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they’re welcome.
Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away?
You lie to police trying to cover up a murder?
We’re comfortable with that.
You love another man? Well, now you’ve gone too far!
Quoting the poet/activist Audre Lord:
Civil rights activist Audre Lord said: ‘It is not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.’
We’ve always been able to recognize ‘em. Some of us accept ‘em.
And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate ‘em.
I don’t know if that day’s here yet. I guess we’re about to find out.
But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it’s time to celebrate him now.
It is time.