Pushed Away

by 1541972 on November 2, 2015 - 8:37pm


 In September 2014 Michael Sam, a star college football player and extremely promising NFL prospect for the St. Louis Rams was cut by the team for what many are speculating was due to Sam’s coming out as the first openly gay football player.  Although the NFL claims to be a league that “tolerates homophobia, the lofty words of it officials notwithstanding” Sam was also rejected for the Rams practice squad as well as not picked up by any other team or their practice squads despite him performing well for the Rams. Tweets and stories in the media from players and officials condemning gay players still continue even though many groups such as GLAAD and LGBT are constantly making efforts and pushing to work with the teams and the leagues to educate from inside the organizations. However until real pressure and disciplinary action is taken against the haters, talented players like Sam will be forced to hide their true self in order to succeed in the professional league. The assumptions being made about masculinity in this article are that because of Sam’s sexual orientation he would be too sensitive and weak to meet the demands of a professional team and its hetrosexual players. As well as Sam would “mess with the locker room chemistry” and that the NFL simply wasn’t ready to embrace and accept openly gay players thus making Sam feel uncomfortable as part of any team. These assumptions reflect a destructive form of masculinity because they are punishing a particular gender for not fitting into the stereotypical identity of a man.  These assumptions are breaking down self esteem and instilling a sense of unworthiness, unacceptance and not being good enough.  It is sending a message that being true to oneself is wrong and that alone is what is truly wrong. In making reference to the article Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds I’ve learned majority judges what is right and wrong. If a person or a group does not conform to the majority’s expectations then more often than not are they rejected and looked upon as an outcast. Because they are nerds they easily get rejected and have to try very hard to win over the girls. ("Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds - The Daily Beast," 2014)


I chose this article to talk about because the horrifying experience that Michael Sam had to go through happens to way too many kids and it's very sad to see that. Most of all the people who are gay get teased upon and bullied and it's not fair because they're also humans. For them to come out of the "closet" was already a very hard process because it takes a lot of guts to come out, and once they do, most of the times people will look at them differently and judge. In my opinion, being a male athlete and coming out is the hardest to go through because once you're an athlete, you become family with your team and guys judge the most. I think that people should focus more about peoples personality rather than if they're gay or a different skin color than you because that doesn't define a person.
My cousin came out to us that he was gay 2 years ago and i know it was a very hard thing for him to do because he was scared we were going to judge him in all sorts of ways but he was wrong because we still loved him the same and didn't treat him differently.
Being gay or a different "race" doesn't make you different but it makes you unique in your own way. People need to stop this ignorance about race or your sexuality because we're all humans and nothing will ever change that.

This article stood out to me, having close friends who are LGBT and knowing the issues they face. It certainly is even worse when one is a celebrity of any kind, and must face the scrutiny and criticism of the public, as well as one’s peers. Of course, would it not be a possibility that perhaps the media and the public are being less forgiving, less discreet about Michael Sam’s coming out because he is black? It could be that Sam’s announcement of his sexual orientation is being taken with more hostility, made more public, because he is a part of a racial minority that has been discriminated against for the entirety of North America’s history. In American society, being Caucasian is portrayed as the ‘default’ and any other racial category is a ‘deviation for the default’, and this also applies to sexualities; having a man who is a deviation from society’s ‘default’ on two counts (being neither white nor heterosexual) would conceivably make him a target for much public scrutiny and disapproval. The fact that football has such a hyper-masculine connotation to it certainly does not help, since the viewpoint of many on the subject of homosexual males is, as you wrote, sensitive and over-emotional. Why is it that professional athletes seem to be the celebrities that get the most criticism for coming out as non-heterosexual?

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