Monday, February 10, 2014

Draft prospect for NFL comes out

Micahel Sam, a draft prospect for the National Football League, has announced that he is gay.  The NFL posted a definitive story in its own website here. 

 He played at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  (I went to grad school at KU myself, but I’ve visited the MU campus just once, in a driving rain.)
Yet some owners reportedly told Sports Illustrated that they won’t look at Sam, fearing distraction to the team. The article in SI by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans, here
To a lay person, it would sound as though Major League Baseball would have an easier time with this issue, since physical contact is not a critical to the game as it is in football, and individual performance is more critical (most of all for pitchers).  I would expect to see announcements in the MLB area soon, even this season.
There is little question that the end of “don’t ask don’t tell” for the military makes a transition in sports easier.  It seems clear that some gay men in the past might have become professional players in several sports, including baseball, hockey, basketball, and less often pro football.   In Dallas, in the 1980s, at least one man I knew had been a minor league relief pitcher.  

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