At the risk of straying into those taboo subjects of religion and politics, either of which is always a good way to start arguments and hurt relationships (which is totally different from college sports allegiances), this is a pretty important issue in society and is about to become huge news, so I wanted to bring it up here.
Missouri Tigers defensive end Michael Sam is entering the NFL draft. He was a star last year for Mizzou which had its best season ever, finishing with a 12-2 record, a Cotton Bowl win, and a #5 ranking. Sam was a first team All-American, the SEC defensive player of the year, and was voted his team's MVP.
The part that make this different is that Sam told his teammates prior to the season that he is gay. Those are the same teammates, by the way, that voted him as their MVP at the end of the season.
Watch Sam's interview here with ESPN. Listen to his story of all of the family tragedies he faced growing up. Like he says, coming out to his teammates and the world isn't the biggest issue he's faced in his life.
This topic is pertinent here because we are the school of Jackie Robinson, and Bruins Chris Kluwe and Brendan Ayanbadejo have recently advanced strong opinions on this issue. I learned a lot about tolerance and acceptance from our legacy at U.C.L.A., and I have admired Kluwe's and Ayanbadejo's courage to take a stand on behalf of what seems to be a simple issue of human rights. We will see very soon if the NFL has reached the same level of acceptance as those two Bruins.
Personally, I look forward to the day when this isn't really news, when no one cares who Sam dates. No one besides my parents ever cared which girls I dated, so why should I or anyone else worry who Sam, or anyone else in the world, dates? Hell, if a particular QB during my college days were gay, maybe I'd have had a better shot with a particular coed, so maybe this is really in the best interest of every college male. Personally, the Broncos defensive line needs help, and if Sam is available when Denver picks, I want him here. He's a great football player. And as long as he's a good citizen too, (looking a bit at you, Von Miller), that's what we need here.
I am Michael Sam. I am a college graduate. I'm African American. And I'm gay.
It wasn't too long ago that a lot of America had a big problem with that African American part. Hopefully before long the only adjective Sam included that will affect any opinion is the college graduate part.