On Saturday August 30th,Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams, the team that drafted him in the 7th of 2014 NFL draft. By all accounts, the emerging LGBT-icon showed up like every other aspiring NFL player — a professional trying to make the team.
Though his dream of making it onto the Rams or another team has been deferred–at least for now– the impact that Michael Sam has had on our country and understanding the relationship between LGBT athletes and sports has just begun. Read more
Our societal obsession with the personal lives and sexual preferences of entertainers has always been par for the course and something that many entertainers, I imagine, have come to expect and in many ways accept. Now this reckless fascination and speculation has bled into the world of sports and become a sport.
Making an NFL team’s 53-man roster starts in training camp. According to NFL rules, each team can only have 90 players when training camp starts. The 90-man roster consists of players from the previous year, drafted and undrafted rookies and free agents from other teams. The process that all teams undergo to get from 90 to 53 can be difficult to understand. For players who are vying to make a team, it can be more stressful and challenging than playing the game itself. Read more
True compassion is never one-sided. When I first decided to tell my family that I am gay, my mother had a very hostile reaction. We went from being best friends to only speaking sporadically over the next four years. During that time, I knew she undoubtedly disapproved of what she called “my lifestyle.”
When Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, I was in a taxi on the West Side Highway on my way to play flag football in the New York Gay Football League.
My phone starting going crazy with texts and calls from friends.
It was exciting, but I actually found myself hanging up on a friend. I needed to take a second to sit back and just smile. Read more