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Opinion

Coming out gay isnít act of bravery
Covering Michael Sam in NFL goes into overtime
 
Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:04 am
by Raynard Jackson

Michael Sam, the All-American defensive end for the University of Missouri, is making more news off the field than on. 

According to Sports Illustrated, “Sam came out to his Missouri teammates last August. Coaches and classmates also knew he was gay well before today. Multiple sources have told SI that Sam strongly considered making an announcement late last summer and was willing to play his senior season as an openly homosexual athlete. (He decided against it at the last minute.).”

Wow! Stop the presses!  This is earth-shattering news! Or, so people will tell you.

People have lost their minds over this issue.  Let a heterosexual go to his job and tell co-workers that he likes women and he will be reprimanded by the human resources department or even fired.  But if you announce that you are homosexual, you get statements from Obama, Michelle, Pelosi, Sharpton, and Jesse.

All because Sam MAY be the first known homosexual to be drafted by a professional sports team. Pro-homosexuals have used adjectives like historic and courageous to describe Sam. Of course, he is neither.

His homosexuality is his story, but not history; nor is it historic.  Historic is defined as an event that is well-known or important in history.  Sam and his announcement will be neither in the annals of history.

Courageous is signified by a member of the military who faces bullets from the enemy in a war zone.  Courageous is announcing you are homosexual in Saudi Arabia. Or Nigeria.

On Sam’s worst day, his life will never be in jeopardy.  The worst case for Sam will be that he doesn’t get drafted by an NFL team and doesn’t get the chance to play professional football.

Asking a chicken for eggs is akin to a contribution but asking a pig for bacon is a total commitment. Sam is making a contribution to the homosexual movement, but not a commitment. Mother Teresa, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. all gave bacon for their beliefs –  their lives. At most, Sam will not have a football career – eggs.

What is he sacrificing as a result of being homosexual or what is he risking?  Absolutely nothing.

If all he wants, as he claims, is to play professional football; then what is the relevance of his being homosexual?  He reminds me of women sportscasters who claim they want to be taken seriously as a journalist then they do a photo spread of themselves in a bikini for a magazine.

If it’s about football, then go tackle and keep your homosexuality to yourself.  If it’s about the career, then why do you feel the need to be seen in a bikini?

This is all about the homosexual community seizing on an opportunity to further force their agenda on the American people.  They have strategically put America and the NFL in a box that neither can get out of. If for whatever reason Sam does not make an NFL team, the cause will be blamed on him being a homosexual.  Should that happen, just watch GLAAD, HRC and the White House pressure the NFL to hire Sam in the NFL’s corporate office as a liaison to the homosexual community. Just watch.

There are two parts of this story that the media has conveniently decided to ignore.

The media has been willfully negligent in finding active and retired players in the NFL and other sports who object to playing with an openly homosexual teammate. From media reports, you would think there is universal acceptance and agreement on this issue, but it isn’t.  But since the opponents don’t fit the desired media narrative, these athletes have been excluded from being interviewed. So much for equality and tolerance.

The other ignored issue and in my view, very disturbing is the fact that Sam actually lied about his parents on ESPN; and there has been no media coverage of this issue.

Sam said on ESPN: “I told my mom and dad last week, and they just pretty much said, “We knew and we love you and support you…” Sam continued, “I’m their baby boy.  I’m the first to go to college.  I’m the first to graduate college.  Something like this is just another milestone.”

The only problem is, what Sam said is not true.  His father, Michael Sr., said in a New York Times interview, “he (Sam, Sr.) was celebrating his birthday at a Denny’s near his home in Texas when he received a text from his son that read, “Dad, I’m gay.”  Sam Sr. continued: “I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks…I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment…I’m old-school.  I’m a man and a woman type of guy.”

This whole story has nothing to do with football and more to do with promoting a cause.  While Sam Jr. getting drafted as an openly homosexual football player may be a first, it does not merit saturated news coverage it is receiving.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

 

Comments

DEAR RAYNARD:

I wouldn?t really expect you to understand this. There is absolutely nothing in Straight (i.e. heterosexual) experience that is analogous to ?coming out.? But I would like you to consider a few things:

If you were a Gay man, would you live your life openly and honestly, or would you prefer to hide yourself away in a closet, content for people to assume that you were Straight? If you had a husband or boyfriend, would you have a framed photo of him on your desk at work, or would you take great pains not to be seen in public together, and do everything you could to hide your relationship from friends and family members?

As someone who is ostensibly heterosexual, how would you feel if you heard that there were rumors going around that you were Gay? Would you just ignore the rumors, or would you go out of your way to make sure that everyone knew you were Straight? You wouldn?t want people ASSUMING that you were Gay, would you? If not, why do you think Gay people would want anyone ASSUMING that they are Straight?

In my 54 years as a Gay man, there have been many times that people have asked me if I?m married or if I have a girlfriend. Such questions are perfectly innocent chit-chat, especially considering that there is absolutely NOTHING about the way that I dress, talk, or act that make you think I was anything but Straight. Nevertheless, as a proud Gay man who has done lots of work to overcome social injustices against the LGBT community, I simply don?t people ASSUMING that I?m Straight.

Do you have a wife and/or kids? Have you ever shown photos of them to other people? It would be perfectly innocuous for you to do so, as a Straight man. Yet you seem to think that Gay people doing exactly the same thing is a militant, subversive act.

As I said, Straight people will never truly understand what ?coming out? means. There?s nothing they can compare it to. And it?s a different experience for each and every Gay person. Sometimes it goes well, other times not so much. Coming out means possibly losing friends, being rejected by one?s own family, risking one?s employment and safety.

I hope you will mull over some of these things before getting so judgmental about Michael Sam. No one is forcing you to ?accept? anything, but the fact remains that there is no reason why Gay and Straight people should be treated with dignity and without discrimination for who they are.
Posted on February 21, 2014
 
Totally agreed with
Posted on February 21, 2014
 
Black. People.
Posted on February 20, 2014
 

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