As most of you know, Michael Sam, heralded football player of the University of Missouri, came out publicly last week. If he is drafted (which he is expected to be) he will become the first openly gay active player in the NFL. It's truly a huge step in the right direction toward acceptance and inclusion for LGBTQ people not only in sports, but in the broader culture.
Right after the story broke, Sports Illustrated dropped this little number. It was full of anonymous commentary from skeptical "NFL Executives and Coaches" that painted a negative picture of not only the road down which Sam is headed, but questioned his wisdom in coming out at all.
I read the SI story on its release and have been stewing on it for the past few days. Then I found out that Stefan Fatsis of Deadspin put all of my frothy feelings of snark and disgust into words for me:
The most laugh-out-loud quote crammed a closetful of stereotypes, bigotries, and dated locutions into one paragraph. It's not that NFL front offices are "against gay people," this source assured Thamel and Evans. It's that "some players" will "look you upside down" if you draft Sam. (Don't blame us football people! Blame the players!) "Every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the media is going to show up, from Good Housekeeping to The Today Show." (If Red Smith or the Saturday Evening Post send a telex requesting a press pass, don't give 'em one!)
If given LITERALLY a million years, I could not have said it better. Absolutely beautiful.