A football player is gay, and the interwebs are afire with the predictable bigoted bluster of outraged conservative types who can’t fathom a homosexual as having any place in a locker room full of sweaty, muscular men in tight pants.
But I really don’t care what these people think anymore. They’re in the minority now, and will be increasingly irrelevant as the years goes on. What matters to me is the opinion of Michael Sam’s potential teammates.
Unsurprisingly, most of the NFL’s heavy hitters have kept quiet on the issue, but a number have stepped forward to congratulate Sam for his bravery, and to offer a few encouraging words. Even New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch jumped to Sam’s defense, exhorting NFL teams to “do the right thing” and draft him.
Former NFL player and head coach Herm Edwards, however, offered no such congratulation or encouragement.
The Huffington Post reports (emphasis mine):
During an appearance on ESPN, where Edwards is an analyst, he compared Sam to a player with “off the field” issues and raised concerns about how his teammates might handle the ensuing media firestorm.
“He’s bringing baggage into your locker room,” he said. “Can the players handle the media attention they are going to get, when they get the question asked, ‘are you okay with a gay teammate?'”
So NFL teams shouldn’t draft gay players because of the “media attention” they’ll bring to the “locker room”? I guess Tim Tebow probably shouldn’t have been drafted (and he shouldn’t have… not because of his frothy Christian zeal, but because he’s an awful quarterback); Denver shouldn’t have picked up Peyton Manning; and Seattle should have stayed the hell away from Richard Sherman. Shit, I guess the league should never have started hiring black players and black coaches — black players and coaches like Herm Edwards. Think of all the media attention that brought to the locker room back in the day!
The NFL is a spectator sport. Every weekend, millions of people tune in to watch these clowns beat the everloving shit out of one another for four fucking hours. By virtue of their profession, they already have the media’s attention. How much more could a gay player possibly bring? And for how long before the major news networks lose interest and move on to Mylie Cyrus’ latest abomination?
Or, better yet, if we’re so concerned about how players are going to react to a gay teammate, why don’t we ask the fucking players? Why are we talking to an ex-coach with a losing record who hasn’t had work inside the NFL for almost five fucking years? Does ESPN think we do not recognize Edwards’ appeal to hypothetical adverse consequences is just a way for him to say “I don’t like teh gay” without actually saying he doesn’t like teh gay?
Seriously. No one born after 1975 even knows who the hell Herm Edwards is. Who gives a fuck what he thinks?