Michael Sam, recent University of Missouri graduate and Mizzou football player made news this week by announcing he was gay. To me the real news are his accomplishments off of the football field. Again the New York Times writes a wonderful piece about where Michael Sam came from. It is a story that should warm your heart Before Coming Out, A Hard Time Growing Up.
The University of Missouri is where my daughter graduated from and where I now have two granddaughters in attendance. I am proud of all of them but to be honest none of them came from a background like Michael Sam, felt his hardship or had to work as hard as he did.
To read his father's comments after Michael wrote him about being gay annoys me.
"Dad, I’m gay, he wrote.
The party stopped cold. “I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.
“I’m old school,” he added. “I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.” As evidence, he pointed out that he had taken an older son to Mexico to lose his virginity."If Michael's father wasn't a blithering idiot he would realize what a jewel of a son he had. He would be bursting his buttons over all of Michael's accomplishments.
Because Michael Sam was courageous and made his announcement before the NFL draft, it will no doubt cost him. But that will be a price that he pays for being able to hold his head high knowing he is being true to himself.
Fine, Michael Sam is gay, but the real story is that Michael Sam is a survivor. He endured family tragedies and in the end prevailed. He accomplished what no one else in his family has done. He graduated from college and his football accomplishments put him in the running for the NFL draft.
Let's hope he is rewarded for his courage and not penalized for it.