Why do i Stand with LGBTQ Athletes?

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The Backstory

Just a few days prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, All-American defensive lineman with the University of Missouri, came out as “an openly, proud gay man” (Good, 2014) during an ESPN interview to the world. His reasoning behind it was due to an experience he had at the Senior Bowl weeks before. He felt like everyone already knew, so why not let it be known from himself. “I didn’t realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me, he said. I want to own my truth… No one else should tell my story but me” (Good, 2014). Going into the draft Sam would be the only openly gay athlete in the NFL. Many people thought this would start a trend of other professional athletes coming out; it never picked up.

So many believe this would hinder his draft chances but they weren’t 100% certain. It wasn’t until unidentified NFL coaches and executive told sports illustrated “We believe Sam’s draft stock will suffer because of his announcement” (Good, 2014). Why was him coming out such a bad thing? I believe it has something to do with the way the NFL is portrayed to the world. Football is a manly man sport, I don’t think they are ready yet to accept his sexual orientation. The NFL has an image, Michael Sam wasn’t it.

You’d think because Sam was such a dominant player in high school, winning several national awards in college he was a go ahead for the NFL draft. This one announcement ruined his career for good. An athlete initially projected to go 5th or 6th in the 2014 NFL draft ended up being the 249th pick. All because of one word… “Gay”.

The Path before Him1

Michael Sam hadn’t been the only NFL player to ever come out. He was just the only one to do so during his time in the league. Previous players waited until they left the NFL or retired before announcing their sexual orientation. No backlash as big as what Sam received happened then. Why was that? Like I stated before regarding the NFL’s image, I believe as long as you don’t hurt what they’ve got going on you’ll be fine. Some would say they played it smart by keeping their job and personal life separate. Their career wasn’t tarnished and no one belittled and ridiculed them regarding their sexual orientation.

Why do I stand with LGBTQ Athletes?

I stand with these athletes “coming out” because I stand for the people. I was raised to have faith in god and he believes that we should love all. I was raised to love and respect all people whether they were black, blue, Caucasian, gay or straight. No matter an individual’s race, sexuality, or appearance they deserved to be treated equally. Homosexuality was never an issue in my household.

I stand with these athletes because our society as a whole already excludes LGBTQ individuals. In a book “LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality” the author states “I believe it is rooted in prejudice and discrimination towards and against LGBTQ+ people. Prejudice can keep us from getting to know and support one another. Prejudicial thoughts come from negative stereotypes, things we have heard or learned from other that are most often not true about a group of people who are different from us (whoever that “us” might be).” (Cronn-Mills & Nelson, 2017). With them being professional athletes their lives are all over the media. Paparazzi not letting them move around without snapping pictures, reporters always questioning their every move.

Why do I stand with LGBTQ athletes? Because the world needs more people to accept LGBTQ individuals. Because I wouldn’t want to hear anyone disrespect my little brother because of his sexual orientation. I stand with LGBTQ athletes because I was taught to love all people. I love all people because of my faith in god. And I will continue to love and support LGBTQ athletes because one loves me!

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Why Do I Stand With LGBTQ Athletes?. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/why-do-i-stand-with-lgbtq-athletes/

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