Did the NFL Give Michael Sam Special Treatment Because He’s Gay?


Talk about a political football! The controversy surrounding America’s most famous athlete who happens to be gay, football player Michael Sam, continues. The latest news is that the National Football League advocated to teams on his behalf because it would be in “the best interest of the league.”

According to The Daily Caller:

“The Rams waived Michael Sam, the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster, he was unemployed for two days,” [NBC’s Peter] King said. “During that time a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player.”

“Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.”

How in the world would that be “a nightmare situation”?!  Sports are supposed to be the great equalizer, with people advancing because of their physical ability, not based on the color of their skin and certainly not because of the kind of sex they like. Michael Sam should play in the NFL if he is a good football player, not because the league pressures teams to sign him in the name of political correctness.

This is akin to the liberal ideal for sports outcomes – everyone gets a trophy. Except in this case, NFL rosters are a zero-sum game. It is possible Sam is taking the “trophy” of a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad away from a more deserving player. Because the NFL stepped in, his abilities will be in doubt.

This report, that is surely to upset other players vying for NFL practice squads around the league, was initially reported by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on yesterday’s edition of “First Take.”

“According to sources I have in the NFL, the league did call a few teams. They did want teams to take Michael Sam because obviously we see what kind of movement they’re gearing for, and what they’re [sic] support of Michael Sam, who we all know, came out, acknowledged he was gay before the draft and ultimately something Roger Goodell and the NFL supports and they want their teams to support. But other teams weren’t too receptive to taking him on once the St. Louis Rams cut him,” reported the ESPN talking head. …

“Kudos to [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones because it just shows he’s willing to be a team player. it shows that even though he’s a hype machine or what have you, in the end, he’s willing to do what he believes, and what the league believes to be in the best interest of the league,” Smith added.

I know the NFL is a business, but part of maintaining a successful business is protecting the integrity of your brand. The product is cheapened when some players get advantages over others. This is why there are rules against performance enhancing drugs, for example. But in this case, it is not a player circumventing rules to gain an advantage, it’s the league tipping the scales. Making sure that Sam makes a team because of his sexual orientation, not because he deserves it, starts to put the integrity of the game into question.

Enough with the social experiments and political correctness, NFL, just let them play!

Alexa is a freelance writer and communications consultant, with experience working on the Hill, at the RNC, and for... More about Alexa

Mentioned in this article::