Huge sports news, especially on this night in Philly, when the Philadelphia Soul is hosting America’s first pro-football LGBT-awareness game. Michael Sam has been drafted by the St. Louis Rams, making him the nation’s first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. More from the New York Times.
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Retired rugby star Neil Francis.
Michael Sam’s coming out as a gay man is, indeed, a game changer, but it really shouldn’t be the case.
Billie Jean King. Greg Louganis. Brian Boitano. All three are gay. All three are athletes. All three are a mere sampling of the thousands and thousands of gay men and women that have dedicated their lives to mastering the skills, endurance, and talent to excel in sport.
The fact is that the sporting community has always had gay people in it; even locally, Philadelphia is the proud home of athletic organizations that cater directly to local LGBT individuals. The locally based Philadelphia Gryphons Rugby Football Club and The Fins Aquatic Group are two excellent examples of diverse groups of LGBT athletes who practice and compete for the greater good of sport.
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Here’s what the media are saying about the Eagles:
Most of the conversation today surrounds draft prospect Michael Sam, who could very well become the league’s first openly-gay player. If you missed it, Peter King pointed to the Eagles specifically as a team that would likely not hesitate to draft the Missouri product.
It could be that a liberal owner and progressive coach like Jeffrey Lurie and Chip Kelly of the Eagles will not care at all, and if he’s there in the fourth or fifth round will grab him.
When asked by Mike Sielski whether Sam’s announcement would affect the franchise’s willingness or unwillingness to draft him, a team spokesman responded, “Why would it change anything?” Read more »