We’ve been told that this is not about sex or sexuality. This is about football. This is about civil rights. This is about the latest incarnation of Jackie Robinson.
Well, if you actually believed all the hype, you might want to think again. The NFL draft was sealed with a homosexual kiss.
It was already outlandish for our president and other national leaders to celebrate the fact that a top college football player, Michael Sam, announced, “I want the world to know I’m attracted to other men” (my paraphrase). That was groundbreaking, major news?
It was already outlandish for Sam to be getting major endorsement offers despite the likelihood that he would be a late draft pick (if drafted at all). As observers noted, this was completely unprecedented.
It was already outlandish for Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, to say, “I want to see Michael Sam get an opportunity to play in the NFL,” especially in light of his claim, stated in the very next sentence, that, “We like to say the NFL is the ultimate meritocracy. If you can play football, they want to see you play. The teams want you. The fans want you. And that’s ultimately what it’s all about.”
Well, if that what it’s all about, if it’s simply a matter of football ability, then why make such a big deal out of this one player?
If it’s simply a matter of merit, why were there fears that it would be a PR disaster if Sam wasn’t drafted? Why should Goodell express his desire that Sam gets an opportunity to play if it’s just a matter of which player is best suited to play in the league? Or will the NFL (and other leagues) soon be required to have a gay quota?
It turns out that the NFL was able to avoid the feared PR disaster when the St. Louis Rams drafted Sam in the seventh round as the 249th pick (putting him dangerously near the end of the picks), with Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher making the appropriate comments, namely, “In the world of diversity we live in now, I’m honored to be a part of this and I’m excited about his opportunity to help this football team win.”
But no sooner was Sam’s pick announced that the NFL had a new issue to deal with (or celebrate?): its first homosexual kiss.
Yes, in an emotional moment played endlessly on the airwaves and captured in still photos that made the headlines, Sam and his boyfriend hugged and exchanged a brief kiss as the NFL officially welcomed its first openly gay player.
So much for this not being about sex or sexuality. So much for this being about what’s best for the team. And heaven forbid you express any displeasure with this homosexual moment, especially if you’re an NFL player or coach. All perceived “homophobia” will be prosecuted sternly.
Miami Dolphins’ player Don Jones already found himself in trouble when he tweeted out “OMG” and “horrible” in response to the gay kiss.
He quickly deleting the tweets, but not before coming under criticism from Dolphins’ general manager Dennis Hickey, who stated, “I was made aware of it and I was disappointed in those comments. That’s not what we stand for as an organization.”
So, as an organization, the Miami Dolphins have a problem with one of their players expressing his dissatisfaction with two men kissing on camera? This is what Jeff Fisher means by the “world of diversity we live in now”? (I’m wondering how common it is to see a male college player kissing his girlfriend on screen after being drafted, which makes the Michael Sam moment stand out all the more.)
Not only, then, must Sam’s teammates embrace him without the least expression of discomfort in the locker room or elsewhere (perhaps when he’s with his boyfriend too?), but the entire league must embrace him kissing his boyfriend without the least expression of discomfort. After all, we are told, this is what the league now stands for.
And so, after the much-ballyhooed annual draft event, the big talk is not about the No. 1 pick, Jadeveon Clowney, or quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel being picked No. 22. It’s about pick No. 249. And it’s about the NFL’s first homosexual kiss.
And I almost forgot. This is not about sex or sexuality. It’s just about football. And anyone who isn’t celebrating this moment is a homophobe.
Michael Brown is author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.