Striving for Equality

Michael Sam has been followed very closely over the past few months as he is the first openly gay football player in the NFL. The media have not left him nor the team he was trying out for alone during this offseason. All of the coverage and press that he has received has led me to question, what does equality really mean in this specific case? I’ve come to the conclusion that what the media has done to him is unfair. Just because he came out weeks before the NFL Draft and then became the first openly gay player in the NFL he now has the public eye upon him around the clock. I am not against Michael Sam or his stand for gay rights and equality, not even in the slightest. I support his position and am very proud that he decided to take a stand and has stuck with it. The thing that bothers me is how often he is in the news or front page on ESPN, but not because of his sexual orientation. I am annoyed that the press have turned him into a martyr and placed an unreal amount of pressure onto a twenty four year old young man’s back. He already went through the stress of trying out for an NFL team and was cut recently. This does not mean that he will not be on an NFL during the upcoming season but multiple Team Executives have said things like they would not sign him simply because of all the media attention that would ensue. A simple question to all of you, is Michael Sam truly being treated equally if everything related to his story is constantly being published? It would seem to me as an avid football fan that no other rookie has gotten nearly as much attention as he has. Not to mention he was not skilled enough to make the St. Louis Ram’s roster. If you wanted Michael Sam to be treated “equally” then it would only seem reasonable to me that he should be treated as a normal NFL player, because he is just that! A normal NFL player trying to compete for a spot on any team that is willing to sign him. All of the coverage is effecting him in a negative manner and actually harming his dream of playing for an NFL team. I do not mean to diminish the groundbreaking journey he is partaking in, because it is wonderful for the gay community and also the professional sports scene. It would just be nice if they gave the guy a break.

Brandon Brown



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