Michael Sam’s recent announcement, about his sexual orientation, sent shock waves thru out the sports world and for that matter the world. The fact that the SEC defensive college football player of the year, and most likely an NFL draft pick, would be the first openly gay player in the NFL is historic. He would be the first active athlete in any of the four major sports to come out. Michael has been the role model many young people, as well as adults, have been waiting for.
Michael has already heard from his detractors. He has heard that he doesn’t belong on the field. That he shouldn’t destroy “America’s game”. He will ruin the game and the locker room. Well, he does belong. He belongs because he has proven that he can PLAY the game. He has proven this over the course of his high school and college careers. When he was able to tell his teammates his secret last August, he not only was supported but then went out an excelled at his position. He belongs. He now belongs on an NFL field, and I am sure he will excel there.
Michael’s announcement will go down as one of the most historic moments in LGBT history. It’s been almost 45 years since Stonewall. We have had heroes like Harvey Milk, Dave Kopay, Martina Navratilova, and countless others (to many to mention) who have paved the way so this historic moment could happen. We must always remember those brave men and women who have come before us. We must remember our past, so that we can shape our future. We must continue to educate our younger generation, as well as our future generations, to understand where we started and where we are going. We have and we will continue to fight for what is right, since that is the only way we know. We must continue the fight, so that we pave the way for other heroes, and other historic moments.