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The Modern Day Integration Of Professional Football

891 words - 4 pages

As one of college football’s brightest talents, former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam has what appears to be a very bright future ahead of himself in the National Football League. As we move closer to draft day though, a larger issue has taken precedence over his football ability. Recently, Sam has come out as homosexual. NBC Sports has reported that the NFL Players Association President has been quoted as saying that the league will welcome Sam with open arms, but yahoo reporter Frank Schwab thinks that things might not be so straightforward. Either way, it appears as though the NFL is approaching a fork in the road regarding how it will react to its first openly gay player.
The President of the NFL Players Association, Dominique Foxworth has a firm belief that Michael Sam will have no big issues when he is inevitably drafted into the National Football League this upcoming April. He states that it would not be a surprise if Michael Sam encounters some “rough patches” along the way, but that the players’ desire to win football games would supersede the issues created by a teammate’s sexuality. Foxworth addresses the issue on everyone’s minds; that the locker room atmosphere is apparently “unwelcoming” to a gay presence and that it would disrupt the overall feeling of the locker room, and in the process, it would disrupt the focus of the team. Foxworth goes on to make his largest and most profound point, being that a disruption in a locker room over a gay teammate is a disruption that some teams need to get through. As society changes, the attitude of the NFL locker room must adapt to reflect it. It is also stated that it appeared as though Missouri was able to rally around Michael Sam and create a sense of togetherness that would not otherwise be possible if Sam were to remain a closet homosexual. Given that Missouri played for a conference championship in arguably the toughest college football conference, Foxworth believes that it clearly did not create as much of a disruption as some believe that it would have.
The same issue was recently addressed by Yahoo Sports Writer Frank Schwab. He first states that no NFL player would be “dumb enough” to speak negatively of Sam publicly, as it would be poison to that particular person’s image. 49ers cornerback Chris Culver experienced this kind of criticism last year when he made homophobic comments before the super bowl last season. This goes to show that there might be many more players who have an issue with a homosexual teammate, but are afraid...

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