Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Ever since Michael Sam announced that he was gay, the sports world has been a-buzz with stories and opinions and discussions on what matters and what this means for the Sports world in general. There have been many comparisons made and many opinions rendered on the subject, and I decided to take this time to give you my opinion on the subject of players personal lives as a whole. Hope you enjoy it.
When asked if he played with any gay players in his day while speaking to 103.3 FM KESN in Dallas, Michael Young had this to say on the subject.
"“I guarantee you I’ve had a gay teammate. This may be the first openly gay player in the NFL, but clearly we know there have been tons in every sport — male, female, there have been tons in every sport. We just don’t know about them or who they are. They’re out there right now. They’re out there in the NBA, in the NHL, in the big leagues and in the NFL. Hopefully players are just comfortable being themselves.”Michael Young"
Michael Young is right about that and I believe that we have all known it for sometime. My issue with it is that I do not see it as an issue at all. My stance has always been that no matter what the player does in his personal time, seeing that it is neither illegal or extreemly dangerous, is okay by me. I have never been on to follow a favorite players personal life. I don’t care if they are single or married, I don’t care if they are gay or straight, I don’t care if they are black or white, I don’t care if they are tall or short, I care what they can do for my team on the field. And later in that same interview, Michael Young made the same point.
"“For me, it comes down to, ‘Can this guy help us win? Is he a winning piece? Can he execute on the field and be a good teammate in the locker room?’ I’d like to think it wouldn’t be an issue at all, and all the teams I played on, I know it definitely wouldn’t have been an issue.”"
I agree with Michael Young here. I care about what the player is doing on the field and in the locker room. If his teammates don’t care for him, if no one has anything nice to say about him, if he isn’t performing on the field, then I don’t want him on my team. Whether he likes guys or girls doesn’t enter my mind.
Sports is a buisness, and like any successful buisness, it comes down to the almighty dollar. If the money invested in a asset (player in this case) is yeilding a smaller return than the investor (owner) expected, then that asset will not be around for too much longer. It is all about performance on the field. I am not saying that the good guys like Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and others who do good things in their communities are not a cut above in my opinion, but if I found out that Michael Young spends six hours a day painting train models during the off-season, it wouldn’t effect my opinion of him. Sure I may not want to do that same thing, but as long as he is playing good baseball, I say paint away. I know that is a crude example, but I hope I am making my point. Sports is about winning, all the other stuff is fodder for sports journalists and bloggers to talk about and speculate and pop culture people to comment on and give their opinion. Fans care about results, plain and simple. There is always a group of people that will be offended, but those people are actually a small minority in my opinion.
If Michael Sam turns out to be a very successful NFL player, all of this will not matter in the end. That is my opinion, and I think as more players come out, it will not be such a big deal anymore, because it really is not a big deal. They are athletes first, good enough to play at an elite level, so all that I really care about in the end is can you help my team win? If you can, then welcome to my team.