First Openly Gay Player in the NFL

Alex Apkin:

Last week Michael Sam, a senior football player from the University of Missouri, announced that he is gay. This is a big deal because Michael Sam is almost certainly going to be on an NFL roster next year. Sam would be the first openly gay player to compete in the National Football League. Sam told all of his College teammates before this past season that he is gay and it went over smoothly with them, considering it did not leak out and there was no major tension between teammates throughout the surprisingly successful season for the Tigers. This is a great sign for whichever team that Sam lands with in the spring. This team should be one with a stable locker room and capable head coach, that can handle the attention that will initially come their way. Most teams in the NFL should be able to handle this attention, but their are a few players with homophobic feelings and beliefs. With the NFL being a league that is filled with devout Christians who are deeply against the idea of homosexuality and others who are just irrationally hateful and upset by them there will be some push-back. However any players that act out by saying or doing something disrespectful towards Michael Sam or gays in general will likely become outcasts and criticized for their words. I believe that this will be a smooth process and mostly because of the type of patient, confident person that Michael Sam seems to be. He seems put together and understanding of where he stands in a historical context, and is taking the right approach with this process. Most importantly should be able to handle any backlash that occurs with poise. This is a big step for the NFL and other major male sports as well, and should lead to more players, some of whom are currently in the league, to come out in the near future.


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