I'm writting this in response to this morning's "controversial" Morning Joe article. First I'd like to thank Kent for continually writting great articles worthy of great discussion. I think he's a great addition to the writting staff.
And while I would usually write this in the comment section, I though that my response, being mostly non football related, would be better suited for a fanpost of its own. I'm posting this as an answer (see MY answer) to not only Kent's article this morning, but also to many of the comments left at the bottum of the article. To answer WHY I think Michael sam chose to come out. And I'm going to start off by posting a video of another celebrity that recently outed herself: Ellen Page.
The reason why we choose to come out has nothing to do with the media, or the attention that it brings. We are not trying to put ourselves in front of anyone else, or in Sam's case, in front of any team the he may play for. We choose to come out to be true to ourselves. (If you caught a lot of "we's" there, it's because I myself am a member of the LGBT community. I've dated just as many men as I have women in my life. But this article isn't about me, so let's move on, shall we?)
If you you actually watched Ellen Page's vid then it should show you exactly why people like Ellen Page, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Sam, or any of us come out: because to not come out is detremental to our personal selves. Is it selfish? Absolutely! But we make no apologies for it either. And we never will.
One thing that most people simply do not understand is how hard the seamingly simple action of coming out is. Go ahead a re-watch the Ellen Page video. Notice how visibly nervous she is? And she came out publicly in front of an overwhelmingly pro-LGBT rights crowd. Now put yourself in Michael Sam's shoes.
The thing one must understand is that to have to hide who you are in fear of what society may think of you is one of the most harmfull things a human being can do to themselves. It harms your mental health on a daily basis, and in many cases, also goes on to harm your physical health. Far to many times the end result of hidding is self harm and death. To come out is to let go of so much anxeity and guilt. It is to accept who you are as a person in a society that still has a long way to come. And I don't believe that it is ever something that a straight person, approving or not, can ever truly understand.
In the end I am of the very same opinion as many of the commentors of Mr. Dickerson's article this morning. This shouldn't be a story. And this shouldn't be an issue either. But the fact remains that in the world we live in, in our current society, it was going to be a story no matter when it came out. At least this way Michael Sam got the chance to control his story.... mostly.
And if in the process he can help push the bounderies of what is socially acceptable in sports, and in life, then all the better. Believe me when I say this what the courage this young man has shown will have a tremendous impact on the world of sports, intended or not. But in the end, this has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with wanting to live a normal life, free of the anxiety and self doubt that hidding bares. And for that he has my tremendous admeration.
Thank you for reading.