The Seattle Seahawks are maybe the most progressive team in the NFL.
They use mindfulness training, Yoga, and organic foods to keep their guys on point. On every aspect of player health and safety, the Seahawks are out in front. Now you can add social justice awareness to the laundry list of reasons to love this team.
A few weeks ago when Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay, he essentially was volunteering to become the first openly gay player in the NFL. You would think that in 2014 a story like that would not be cause for earth shattering idiocy, but you would be wrong. Super bowl MVP Malcom Smith tweeted his support for Sam and a number of other players did as well.
Not everyone was so supportive, though.
Mediocre Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White went on a bizarre (now deleted) twitter rant about it obviously being preferable to be straight rather than gay. Our beloved draft “experts” also got in on the ignorance: for some reason Sam’s draft stock plummeted several dozen spots the day after his announcement.
Out of all the reactions to the Michael Sam news the worst came from Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman, who is reportedly preparing legislation to ban gay players from the NFL. Burkman’s press release included these glittering golden nuggets of stupid:
“Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to? If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it.”
Burkman paints himself as a defender of America’s moral values. He has also been connected to the D.C. madam scandal and previously has stalked young women on Myspace.
But the ‘Hawks are in the right place on this one. In an interview on MSNBC’S Morning Joe yesterday, quarterback Russell Wilson said that the team would welcome a gay player like Michael Sam, and all that really matters to him is how his teammates play the game.
“He’s very courageous, If he’s on our team, I know that we’ll treat him with utmost respect just like everybody else… Our goal is one goal, and that’s to win the Super Bowl. And every time we step out onto the field, that’s our mindset. So when I step into the huddle, I don’t care if my offensive lineman is white, black, if my receiver is Jewish or Christian — that has no effect on me.”
One day the people who get into conniptions over what other people do in their own bedrooms will hopefully be such a small minority that they can never affect a player’s draft stock again, let alone public policy. Until then, at least our Seahawks are still sane.