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The Sports Tank

The "Breaking the Barrier" Analogy

 
The
Posted February 21st, 2014 @ 4:24pm

 

 By JP

Michael Sam is gay. There, I said it. Now let’s focus on what’s important: football talent.  Tank seems to think that Sam will be drafted in the 5th round or later. I think he should be drafted between the 3rd and 5th rounds. He is tabbed as 119th overall talent. That would put the defensive end in the 4th round. Overall he is an average player (based on scouting reports) who has above average production, durability, pass rush, instincts, and motor ratings. He also has below average versatility, run defense, and height/weight/speed ratings.  He is the classic middle rounds prospect.

The non-football part of Michael Sam is his sexual orientation. I couldn’t help but smile when Tank asked the question, “Is this the Jackie Robinson moment the Gay community has been waiting for?” I know this was in reference to breaking the barrier for openly gay people to be in the NFL. I have heard people referring to Sam as the Jackie Robinson of homosexual athletes and I think we need to use caution when making that comparison.

Yes, he will be the first openly gay NFL player, but there wasn’t an unsaid rule that I’m aware of among NFL owners keeping homosexuals out of football. Like the MLB owners did for black baseball players.  At the time of Robinson’s rookie year, America had the mindset that black people were inferior in every way. We don’t have individual Heterosexual and Homosexual water fountains. We don’t have restaurants with signs stating they reserve the right to not serve homosexuals and Sam won’t be dealing with the magnitude of safety issues that Robinson faced day in and day out. In light of the differences between their obstacles, I believe it would be an injustice to both athletes to compare Michael Sam to Jackie Robinson.

I agree that this is a big deal for homosexual athletes trying to find the courage to come out to everyone and I wish that society did not make it such a big deal.  An athlete is an athlete, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Where I differ form Tank is, I believe that the timing of his “coming out” will actually help his draft status. I think that because people are calling him the Jackie Robinson of homosexual athletes, teams will jump at the chance to have the first openly gay football player on their roster. It could help their ticket sales and boost the fan base by making them seem tolerant of the homosexual life style.  This is the reason he will probably be drafted low 2nd to middle 3rd round instead of low 3rd to middle 4th like his scouting suggests. That also could backfire on the owner/GM that reaches to draft him based on the hype.

 

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