Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam made headlines recently when he bravely chose to come out to the world and reveal he is gay.
This was in no way an easy task for Sam as he has become the first player to openly admit he is gay before an NFL draft. And not everyone has been welcoming the sportsman with open arms. In fact, he has been struggling against homophobia in the sporting world, and there has already been a projected drop in Sam's draft stock since his coming out during a press conference on Sunday.
Sexuality should be irrelevant in sports, but the fact is it is not, and it may not be for many years to come. Although, the bravery of this college football star may set things in motion for a better and more equal sporting world in the future. Sports commentator Dale Hansen has decided to send a resounding message of support for Sam.
Hansen said on ABC news, "The best defensive player in college football's best conference only a third to fifth round NFL pick? Really? That is shocking, and I guess that other thing is, too."
"Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL; says he knows there will be problems... and they've already started."
"Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn't be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that's a man's world."
The 65-year old sports commentator went on to give an emotional speech about the injustices in the sporting world. He talked about how some football players are abusive to women and how others drink and do drugs, and yet being a gay man is somehow worse than all of that?
In fact, Hansen's comments address far more than just the homophobia that exists within the sporting world. He also touches on the racial inequalities and how it is time the nation recognizes that we need to unify and accept one another's choices and differences.
Finishing with a quote by civil rights activist Audre Lorde, Hansen said, "It is not our differences that divide us. It's our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences."
Hansen continued, "We've always been able to recognize 'em. Some of us accept 'em. And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate 'em."
"I don't know if that day's here yet. I guess we're about to find out. But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it's time to celebrate him now."
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