Dallas, TX- Sometimes things occur that just make you shake your head and wonder why people or in this case major platforms become so silly with their coverage that it’s downright embarrassing to watch. It’s like the old phrase about car-wrecks, you just can’t look away.
This week something similar happened that just was so mind boggling that all I could do what nervously laugh. Folks, yes Michael Sam is gay, but is the coverage really appropriate?
Michael Sam is trying to live out his dream of being an NFL player and so far he’s been pretty damn good on the field. Newsflash, that is the only story that should be getting hyped. Not ridiculousness about his lifestyle or his boyfriend or how him being a “homosexual” has anything to do with his performance on the field.
This week, ESPN decided to actually have a correspondent discuss Michael Sam’s shower routine following a practice or game. Talk about unnecessary and disrespectful to Sam and the entire St. Louis Rams organization. These are the type of homophobic issues that cripple today’s society as a whole. You can view this unsettling video below.
Since this video went viral, ESPN has issued an apology after it bothered the teammates of Michael Sam. These type of reports are what is wrong with Sports Journalism in the first place. Who cares if this man is gay? Really, it’s not like his teammates are on watch right now because Michael Sam is some type of predator. That’s what reports like that do, they give people the idea that it isn’t acceptable to be gay and that in itself is unjust and completely wrong.
ESPN should be talking about how Michael Sam already has three sacks in his short career, or how he’s most likely going to make the team or if not get a chance with another team. I know most of us would love to see him with a star on his helmet. Yet, ESPN would rather report on how a he’s handling taking showers in a predominately “straight” locker room? The best response was that of Rams teammate Chris Long who said:
— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 26, 2014
It was just a short but sweet sting that let ESPN know that they have taken a major step back in the eyes of not only the LGBT community but just humanity in-general. The St. Louis Rams are a team and like any team they have each other’s backs. Why wouldn’t they? I understand that we live in a perplexing world but sometimes I feel as though we as humans take one step forward then take incredible steps backwards. Michael Sam is a human being and he deserves to be treated as such instead he gets treated like a lightning-rod for controversy, which is discouraging.
In short, what this reporter did wasn’t only discouraging but as Jeff Fisher said, “it was unethical.” It was extremely disappointing and in my opinion; it was flat-out lazy reporting which unfortunately has become somewhat of a norm with major platforms that are always pushing the envelope so to speak.
He’s not the first gay NFL Player, he certainly won’t be the last, but what is true is that no matter how hard we try it seems as though uncomfortable moments such as these will continue to happen. This is an embarrassing moment for ESPN but more importantly embarrassing for sports journalism as a whole.
Michael Sam is a good football player, there’s your story ESPN. Now, I dare you to write it.