Let’s go Rams!

I’m a fairly casual NFL fan. I’ll watch a game if it’s on, and enjoy it, but I’ve never really developed a massive love for the game or a particular team. That being said there are a couple of teams I have soft spots for- Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and one team I actively dislike, the Dallas Cowboys (I don’t know why, I just don’t like them, okay?)

And now I have a new team to root for, the St. Louis Rams.

rams

This is because yesterday the Rams made history as they drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player.

sam

This is a massive step forward in terms of equality in sport, especially as speculation had begun that many NFL teams would not draft him because they wanted to avoid controversy.

What makes this sad is that a homosexual man is regarded as more damaging than someone who has been racist or committed a crime, as Jon Stewart illustrated.

It boggles the mind that there are some people out there who are so anti-gay they won’t even let a gay man play a sport. It’s ignorant hate which should be ignored or combated, and if any teams did pass on Sam just to avoid a backlash then they should be ashamed of themselves for being cowards and supporting these d**ks in their bigotry.

Earlier in the week a Christian lobbyist came out strong against Sam being able to play, threatening a nationwide boycott of whichever team took the player. In a tone which really captured Jesus’ loving, compassionate approach, Jack Burkman stated that they would “not stop until the drafting NFL franchise cannot sell a single ticket, jersey or autographed football… in short, we shall be relentless.”

JC

Burkman clearly missed a vital part of how the NFL works, because it uses revenue sharing meaning that all the teams get a slice of the action from the massive pot of gate sales, merchandise and TV deals. So if these bigots continued to watch and support their own teams they’d actually still be helping the Rams financially, and I doubt many of them would stop watching and following the sport entirely.

I hate Burkman’s attitude, and his attempt to stir it up by talking about how having a gay teammate is “a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country”. Is it? What about the mothers who have gay sons, Jack? Or just the ones who aren’t a bunch of backwards thinking morons who think that every gay man is attracted to every male on the planet. That ain’t how it works, just like straight guys don’t find every woman they meet attractive, and even if they do find a teammate attractive is it any different from when a straight man finds a girl attractive? They might check them out, but it’s not like us men are beasts who instinctively mount anything we’re attracted to, are we?

So St. Louis didn’t listen to the boycott threats or anything else, and that’s good. Kudos to them for telling the bigots to sling their hook and give the guy a chance.

Signing Sam is possibly the most significant moment in American sport approaching equality since Jackie Robinson started for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking baseball’s colour barrier.

Here’s hoping that Sam and the Rams have a great season and that his courage in stepping up helps pave the way for other athletes to not have to hide who they are, or even just inspire young men and women everywhere who are dealing with their sexuality and fear it may hold them back.

So, if anybody’s looking for a gift for my birthday, which is later this month, get me a Rams jersey with Sam’s name on it, or just some Rams merch, so I can show my support.

Unless you can get me Gaga tickets, in which case, get the tickets.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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