Monday, February 10, 2014

Michael Sam I Am Gay I Am

     We know that led by Dave Kopay and Hall of Famer Jackie Smith, at least 8 NFL players have been gay when they played, but forced to remain in the closet to keep their job, having to lead the dual life of a straight and a gay, probably always wondering when that day might come when not on the field of play, but during personal hours their orientation might be discovered. Michael Sam a 260 pound defensive end, SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri, has just announced he is gay. We have come a long way in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and may still have more progress to make. My wish is that this announcement becomes merely a "ho-hum" and he, like all other players, are judged not by race, color or creed, but only on their skills, sportsmanship and implementation of those skills on the field of play. And, of course, given some of the behavior of NFL players, judged by the content of his character.
      Enough said save the comment below and for those who have not played rugby as this flanker has or do not understand the nuances of the game, a plane carrying 45 passengers including an Argentine rugby union team crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. The survivors were rescued on the 23rd of December after two rugby players hiked for ten days over the snow covered Andes to civilization and resulting rescue. To survive, the team ate those who had died and were frozen solid by the freezing temperatures---hence the saying "Rugby Players Eat Their Dead."
Michael Sam I Am Gay I Am
Don’t ask don’t tell in the military has heard its final taps
No longer one’s orientation a gay soldier to entrap
If one can be gay and take a bullet in his country’s defense
Then his orientation should never be an offense
Save one, football is the closest thing to war of all sports
So it is refreshing for a 260 pound defensive SEC player of the year
To openly admit he’s gay and the “stigma” no longer fears
Michael Sam comes out of the closet no longer willing to hide
In so doing maybe sets back the intolerance tides
First openly gay player, but not the first gay in the NFL
Dave Kopay, Jackie Smith and six others endured the closet hell
A time of unrelenting bias and pervasive homophobic fear
Even Lombardi with a gay bother could not in his locker room  such bias clear
Memories of a tight end for the Cowboys Jackie Smith who dropped a winning Super Bowl catch
Not because he was a closet gay, but from the jaws of victory the gods of football sometime snatch
A Hall of Famer setting records not because as a football player, he was a closet gay
But because of talent and drive that showed up each Sunday he came to play
One can only hope no injuries and Michael Sam will enjoy a successful and storied football career
Because of merit not that he was openly gay; then the demons of bias we have less to fear
It should only matter not whether you are gay or straight or somewhere in between
Only how well one tackles, blocks, runs, passes or kicks with talent and drive not whether in the closet or come clean
Lest anyone somehow think that toughness and being gay are in relation inverse
Hearken back to when we were attacked on 911 and endured the jihadist acts so perverse
Remember the one sport that makes football look not like war but a Sunday stroll in the park
Rugby players eat their dead and their tries, scrums, and tackles are worse than any Omaha Manning bark
When the innocents on Flight 93 knew that New York and the Pentagon had been hit
Maybe the White House was for their flight next, did they on their hands meekly sit?
Not a chance, led by a gay rugby player from Cal’s two championship teams, they attacked to regain control in the sky
Despite all efforts, they failed but succeeded in crashing into Shankesville so no one at the White House died
If you should ask and if that gay rugby player Mark Bingham who played #8 were still alive to tell
“Yes I am gay and I am going to with my mini-scrum break down the cockpit door and send these jihadists to hell.”
We hope the buzz over Michael Sam’s orientation fades quickly from view
To focus on how he and teammates execute the X’s and O’s on the blackboard the coaches drew
© February 10, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

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