Does anyone remember Playmakers? Yes? No? Well, let me explain.

Playmakers was a show that premiered on ESPN a little over ten years ago. Due to its gritty depiction of professional football, it was quite the popular show. Following a fictional team by the name of The Cougars, it followed the ins and outs of a team that found many of its players in more scandals than Olivia Pope nude at a press conference. With all the madness and drama that occurred within the confines of the show, people loved to watch it.

It actually became the highest rated ESPN show behind Sunday Night Football (before it went to NBC). The NFL, however, pressured ESPN to cancel the show because it brought negativity to the league. But as one writer by the name of E. Maisonett, III noted, the show would depict the future of football.

Michael Sam HRC

Part of that future came creeping into the stratosphere of sports as Michael Sam announced that he was homosexual. If anyone watched that first (and only) season of Playmakers, they would have noticed a player named Thad Guerwitcz. He was also a player that was gay (in secret). The problem with Thad is that the team wanted to suppress the issue due to the onslaught of bad press that was going to be possible. Thus, Michael Sam has the potential of facing some troubling times in his future NFL career.

That is, if he makes it through the drafting process with a team that will support him.

Negative Response to Michael Sam

Some of the responses to this situation have been quite troubling:

Positive Response to Michael Sam

In contrast, there have been some positive responses as well:

Last, but not least, is the one response that summarizes how I feel:

The Reality of Michael Sam and His Sexuality

As many people want to act as if this may be some attention seeking situation, I’m not sure it would have been in Michael Sam’s best interest to do so in this manner. At some point, people were going to find out. Might as well put it on the table so society, and the NFL, can make their own decisions. This move is risky because it can actually hamper Sam’s draft pick status.

Another thing we need to figure out is where people honestly stand on this issue. Do we, as football fans and a society as a whole, castrate the man for his sexuality? Do we pat him on the back and say “Live your life”? Or do we care even less and just concern ourselves with what he brings to the football field? There are so many ways in which this has gone.

In reality, Michael Sam has helped free himself of the burden of being “in the closet”. It is 2014, so people will accept him or not. As posted above, Ross Tucker noted that we can finally find out how people will react. Screw the hypotheticals. As a people, we need to realize where we stand on an issue like this.

Nobody is going to pray the gay away this time around. No one is going to sweep the issue under the rug. America, this is your moment to actually show some maturity and let a man stand on his merits alone. Forget his race, creed, cultural inclinations, and even sexual orientation for the sake of him earning his way on a team. Remember that this is a young man trying to be a player in a grown man’s league.

America, are you ready? The closet door has been opened.

NFL, are you ready? You can’t cancel this situation like you helped cancel Playmakers.

Ask yourself, readers: where do you stand?

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!

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