Michael Sam will probably never play another down in the NFL -- and he has no one to blame but himself.
Sam, a 24-year-old SEC Defensive Player of the year out of Missouri, announced his homosexuality in February, leading many to believe it was a calculated attempt on his part to boost his chances at the NFL draft in May. Being an SEC standout was no guarantee that Sam would be drafted at all. Even more suspect was the fact that Sam apparently inked a deal with Oprah OWN Network to film a reality TV series before he was even drafted. Then there was the wedding cake incident when Sam tongue kissed his feminine boyfriend on national TV on draft day. ESPN's cameras were there to film the 7th round draft pick licking icing off his boyfriend's face.
The irony is that ESPN's cameras were also in the St. Louis locker room last week when reporter Josina Anderson got an anonymous tip that Sam was waiting to take showers so his teammates wouldn't be uncomfortable. It may have been the icing on the cake (pun intended) that ended Sam's football career.
After Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, 31 other teams declined to add him to their 53-player rosters. And despite the misguided predictions that Sam would be signed to the Rams practice squad, those hopes were also dashed on Sunday.
With no NFL team showing interest in Sam, his only chance to touch a football professionally might be with the Canadian Football League. The disappointment was almost too much to bear for gay sports writers who saw Sam as the second coming of Jackie Robinson.
"The NFL should be embarrassed," wrote AJC sports writer Jeff Schultz. "It would be nice if this was just about football, like the NFL wants you to believe. But it’s clearly not," he added. Schultz's dismay is shared by the national media and gay rights advocates who had hoped to see an openly gay black player integrate the last bastion of masculinity in professional sports: the NFL locker room.
Michael Sam will not be the last attempt in the national media's ongoing trend of emasculating and feminizing black men.
So deeply rooted is the white man's fear of black men in America that they see feminizing black men through the media as a way to overcome that fear.
Michael Sam was the first openly gay player drafted and cut by an NFL team. And the sun will come out tomorrow.
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