So I was watching ESPN this morning, and a bunch of ex-players were talking about Michael Sam, and how he’ll be received in the NFL. Antonio Pierce, the former Giant linebacker, was saying it’ll be a tough adjustment; that guys will feel as if they have to walk on eggshells, RE: their speech and how it’s construed.
To this, I say good. And I also say, give me a friggin’ break.
Poor NFL players. Poor, poor NFL players. How will they survive, no longer being allowed to call one another “faggots”? It’ll be a difficult adjustment, but with hard work and determination, I believe it can happen.
Actually, what I find most interesting is this invisible “How will we adapt?” concern that makes, literally, no logical sense. Or, let’s think of it this way. Michael Sam enters the locker room. He’s a 49er. Or a Jet. Or a Jaguar. Or … whatever. He walks around, he changes, he’s takes a shower with the guys. Here are the dreaded things that—in the minds of idiot players—might occur:
1. In the shower, Michael Sam stares longingly at the penises of teammates, thereby making them feel uncomfortable: I’m straight. I’ve always been straight. I’ve never dated a man, longed for a man, thought of a man in sexual ways. Like, 100-percent straight. But have I ever noticed long and/or thick penises in a shower setting? Of course—oftentimes coupled with the thought, “Jesus Chris, I wish my dick were even half that size!” There’s this idea that no one ever looks, or straight men have blinders on. It’s nonsense, and the nonstop jokes and snickers and comments prove it. Hell, I remember way back when I was a summer camp counselor, and one of the other counselors was uncircumcised. The other counselors nicknamed him “Pointy.” It was juvenile and dickish and stupid—but noticing anatomy happens all the time. Gay, straight, whatever. You’re naked. It happens.
2. In the shower, Michael Sam—powerful pass-rushing gay monster—attacks a player with his powerful pass-rushing gay monster skills and gives him The Gay: I really think this is a big one. In the past, you’d hear athletes respond to the “What if a teammate were gay?” question with some variation of, “As long as he doesn’t try that stuff with me.” Here’s the great thing—as soon as someone tries “that stuff” with you, you’re officially allowed to slam his head into the nearest sink. It’s allowed—just as if a straight teammate tried something “with you.”
3. Michael Sam makes us “feel uncomfortable.”: He’s different. He’s weird. Christ doesn’t approve. Moses doesn’t approve. My mom didn’t raise me to be friends with no gay dude. Etc … etc. It’s all out there—somewhere. It also happens to be the same shit Jackie Robinson heard (just different wording). More recently, it’s the same stuff Ellen heard when she first played a gay character on TV. What will the children think! We’ll no longer watch! It’s not family entertainment! Blah, blah. There’s this odd concern that Michael Sam would “ruin” the locker room. That his mere presence will be such a distraction that the team is doomed.
Here is the funny thing about that: The distraction is a complete creation of the distracted. The media asks how big a distraction this is—thereby actually creating the distraction (aka: If there weren’t 100 of us asking the same questions, there would be no distraction to ask about.). The same goes for players who are somehow horrified and disgusted. Wanna get over your issues: Here’s a plan—Don’t walk around naked in front of Michael Sam. There’s this thing … eh … um … oh, right. A towel. Use it. Problem solved.
It’s all so inane.