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BET writer suggests Michael Sam gets new people. Whew.

It’s not looking good for Michael Sam these days, as he continues to want to play in the NFL.  The only problem is that he continues to put his sexuality in the forefront, instead of football (which he doesn’t seem to be very good at anyway).

I tried to cut this piece from BET down, but I just didn’t know what to take out. I think it’s all worth reading so…here you go:

“Commentary: Michael Sam Should Abandon His PR Campaign”

A seat next to Oprah Winfrey on one of her TV specials usually guarantees good things for a person. Oprah is a kingmaker; she can transform a hack of an author or a C-list actor into an instant celebrity.

Perhaps the thought of what Oprah might be able to do for his floundering career drove Michael Sam, an openly gay athlete, to sit on a stage with her. He had to hope it would.

For there Sam was last Saturday, a yard or two away from the most famous Black woman in the world, praying his interview with her might do what nothing else had been able to do: earn him a spot on an NFL roster.

His interview with Oprah will not. It didn’t improve his time in the 40 or make up for his lack of bulk.

Instead, it raised concerns about Sam, who came across as a pathetic character. He whined to Oprah about how his homosexuality had cost him a roster spot. He tried to make her audience believe he was good enough for the NFL.

He failed there, too.

Sam, a rookie defensive lineman in waiting, could have been a genuine hero, someone who stood up to homophobic thinking in sports and who insisted his homosexuality wasn’t going to decide his worth.

He did have a noble, heartbreaking backstory, which recounted his life with dignity and pride, unashamed to tackle sexual orientation. But his backstory overtook his present story.

That story has turned those who had been aligned with Sam’s quest for an NFL career into critics. They aren’t asking for Sam’s silence; they are asking him to focus more on improving his skills and less on his public campaign that has become a sideshow.

At the circus, sideshows make people laugh, and Michael Sam is giving people plenty to laugh about. They are finding it increasingly funny that he’s building his football career on a stage, not in the workout room.

If homophobia is why people are laughing, their reaction is a reflection on those people and not on Sam. But if it is his whining, then laughter is appropriate.

They know the NFL isn’t looking for political statements, which Sam seems most interested in making. The league is looking for football players; it has no interest in putting a politician on a team’s roster.

“I did everything I was supposed to do,” he told Oprah. “I did everything right. I am proud of how I handled things.”

Everything? Sam can play politics if he prefers to, but he needs to hire a better campaign manager. Whoever has been advising him isn’t offering the man the best wisdom.

For even circus clowns could have told Michael Sam that sitting down with Oprah might draw rating points but won’t make him attractive to NFL teams. They want an athlete who talks less and practices more, and teams tend to cut athletes who do more of the former and a whole lot less of the latter.

Ouch.

I think it’s getting to the point where the same conversation is wearing people out. There is only so many times people are wanting to hear about your sexuality WHEN TALKING ABOUT YOUR JOB….and that goes for all people.

This is what I wrote in a comment on my Facebook page about the situation:

You know, on one hand, I get the desire to make history (I think that’s the correct word?). Similar to how the black community views being the “first black,” etc.

However, he doesn’t seem authentic. At all. I’ve always felt he was exploiting his sexuality for, as you said, personal gain. Him trying to film a reality show in the middle of tryouts added to that feeling.

In my head, I’m thinking his focus should’ve always been on proving himself. But then he speaks out on his sexuality, and then comes back to say he wishes people wouldn’t make it a big deal? Can’t have it both ways. I’m sure he was aware of the attention it would bring. But it seems like what he WASN’T prepared for, was playing professional football.

The problem here (for most folks, I believe) is not the fact that he is a gay football player. That is nothing new. The problem is that it seems he is using his sexuality to try ad push his agenda.

I don’t necessarily agree with the “distraction” argument, seeing as though there are other players who have brought huge amounts of negative attention to their teams, but I do think that it’s a lack of work and just a lack of ability to be in the NFL.

Either way, the more he talks, the worse it gets. So yeah, maybe he should surround himself with different people?

Michael Sam wants you to know there are a lot of gay players in the NFL.

In a OWN documentary that aired this past Saturday, Michael Sam explains that he isn’t the only gay player in the NFL:

Michael Sam is one of many gay men actively playing in the NFL.

The free agent, who was released from both the St. Louis Ramsand Dallas Cowboys this year after becoming the first openly gay player ever drafted, told Oprah Winfrey in an OWN special that aired over the weekend that “there’s a lot of us out there.”

“I’m not the only one,” Sam said. “I’m just the only one who’s open.”

Sam said during the same interview that he was contacted by “a very few” after coming out during an ESPN interview last February.

“[They] pretty much just told me their gratitude, how they were thankful,” Sam said without giving Winfrey an exact number. “They wish that they had the courage to come out.”

{source}

 

I’m not sure how the terminology works, but the first sentence confuses me. Actively playing in the NFL? I thought he’d been released from everybody?

Either way, there it is!

 

Apparently, Michael Sam being cut is cause of homophobia in the NFL

I was actually happy that I hadn’t seen the “Michael Sam only got cut because he’s gay argument.” Buuuut it seems as if I simply missed it.

Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams over the weekend. Over the following 24 hours, no other team had decided to claim the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL. Then came the news that the Rams didn’t choose him for its practice squad. And though he could be picked for a practice squad for another team this week, NFL watchers believe his options are dim.

There have already been lots of arguments on social media, and it will continue this week, over whether or not this represented homophobia in the NFL. Frankly, I’m astounded that anyone can even debate this. One person on my Facebook page said that if Michael Sam were good enough he’d be playing. I don’t know how this person could possibly justify such a statement since the NFL’s record — of giving slaps on the wrist for ugly homophobic incidents and hiring known haters — suggests otherwise, and no openly gay player had been drafted before.

We witnessed players tweeting hateful comments after Sam came out, and sawstories in the sports media quoting unnamed officials saying open gays would mess with the locker room “chemistry” and that the NFL just wasn’t ready. Even if we accepted that Sam’s performance wasn’t up to par and that that was the sole reason for his fate, there is nothing beyond the hollow words of NFL officials to suggest that if he were “good enough” he’d be playing — and much to suggest otherwise.

{Huffington Post}

I will agree with this writer on one thing.  The fact that he isn’t the best player isn’t the *only* reason he got cut.  I honestly think the Rams didn’t want to deal with the drama.  Remember, this is a guy who signed up to do a reality show based on his sexuality (let’s be honest) before even being drafted. The cameras were already rolling when he was drafted!

Someone stated on my Facebook page that there are other players who have had their fair share of drama.  One of which was Chad Johnson (the point was made that his drama came later in his career).  We all see where he is now.

I’m not a football guru (at all), but I’m thinking there simply wasn’t a place for him on the Rams’ roster. I’m sure he can be worked with and developed at a player, but the decision makers probably didn’t think it was worth the possible drama. Again, this isn’t the first time this has happened with players. It’s just that this player happens to be openly gay.

Now we know that Michael Sam has been signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad. From what I’ve seen, people (who have MUCH more expertise than I do lol) seem to think this is a good move.  I don’t really know what happens to move from the practice squad to the roster, but if he makes it on the team then more power to him.  I just hope that every (relatively) negative move isn’t attributed to the NFL, as a whole, being scared of gays.

{featured image via abcnews.com}

Michael Sam vs. Michael $am

My cousin (who I didn’t even know read my blog so SHOUTOUT TO YOU!!! 🙂 ) sent me this article.  And it is SPOT ON with how I feel in regards to Michael $am deciding to do this docuseries.

Disclaimer: Let’s be clear.  If you’re thinking that I am being critical of Michael simply because he is gay, you really can move around.  You all should know that I firmly believe people have the right to do whatever it is that they want to do. It’s actually none of my business.  UNLESS YOU MAKE IT MY BUSINESS.  I see people cosigning and cheering on WHATEVER Michael Sam does, no matter how ill-advised, simply because he is the first openly gay football player to be drafted.  And I think that is a mistake.  And I think it is perfectly okay to call out whatever mistakes he makes just like we would do ANY OTHER ATHLETE in his position.  His sexuality doesn’t excuse him from being criticized. And all of those who criticize him *gasp* don’t hate gay people.  I am a heterosexual woman who is of the opinion that Michael Sam is making a huge mistake in regard to what he says is his major focus. And no, I am not homophobic, a bigot, hateful, discriminatory, etc. etc. etc. Nope.  And if that’s the automatic assumption you’ve come to, BYE! 🙂

ANYWAY.

This article is SPOT ON with my feelings about this whole situation.  I’ll admit that I’m probably gonna copy and paste the entire thing, but you also should go read the whole article from ESPN.

Michael Sam’s decision to do a “documentary series” — reality TV show — on the Oprah Winfrey Network is a gigantic tactical error for Sam and his supporters within the LGBT community.

America, for the most part, would wrap its arms around Michael Sam, the gay, underdog football player fighting to find his place in the NFL. America, for the most part, will reject Michael $am, the gay, in-your-face political/media pawn using the NFL as a platform to launch his celebrity brand.

Michael $am contradicts Michael Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year who repeatedly swore he just wanted to focus on football, not his sexuality.

Oprah and her foundering TV network do not care about X’s and O’s. They care about salacious and sensational human drama and the kind of XOXOXs that take place in the bedroom. For context, OWN is the documentary-series home for Lindsay Lohan, the child actress-turned-serial drug-rehabber.   That is not written to suggest OWN does not do and aspire to do high-end TV journalism (Lance Armstrong interview). It’s written to imply that even Oprah’s standards cave to the demands of Nielsen ratings.

Michael $am undermines the credibility of Michael Sam.

Yes.  To everything. Yes yes yes yes.

It all feels orchestrated now: the draft-day kiss; the cake-covered face; the tears; the celebration that conveniently captured just Sam, his boyfriend and his two agents; and even the “Stand with Sam” T-shirts selling onmichaelsam.com.

Who knew a reality TV show was being filmed? Who knew Sam’s agents (Cameron Weiss and Joe Barkett) and publicist (Howard Bragman) had cut deals to be producers on the reality TV show?

This is all scripted and amateur. And devious, too.

See, I thought the extended coverage of his reaction was odd.  NO other player got that coverage. And I was also wondering why his family wasn’t in the shot.  And who were those people???  But.  We now have answers. What we NOW know, is that he was being filmed for his reality tv show at that time, and the people in his shot are directly involved in said reality show.  Come on.

Michael Sam, the football player, is being used … by everyone. Weiss, Barkett and Bragman are cashing in. Oprah is hoping an attachment to the NFL can breathe life into her network the way the league does for CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. The LGBT movement appears to be more concerned with Sam advancing the cause than making the roster. And, yes, the cause is more important than football. But playing football advances the cause a lot more than Real World St. Louis.

Absolutely.  It is no secret that Oprah’s network has suffered.  It simply hasn’t done well.  There is no doubt in my mind that she saw the perfect opportunity to cash in.  Which, hey, that’s what anybody in her position would do, right? So I can’t really blame her for that.  However, it’s just not a good move on the part of Michael Sam.  As mentioned, he’s continued to say he doesn’t want his sexuality to be in the forefront. But then you sign onto a show that does just that?

But Sam has to play in the NFL to be an effective role model and pioneer. He has to fit into a locker room environment before he can transform that environment.

He is simply not a good enough football player to travel with Oprah’s circus and the NFL’s. He needs to choose one. He’s a seventh-round draft pick who ran a 4.91-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He’s a special-teams player.

Sam’s handlers have misinterpreted the comparisons between Sam and Jackie Robinson. No. 42 had Hall of Fame talent from day one. No one questioned his skill. His teammates could not deny his obvious ability to excel in the majors and help the Dodgers win.

I know the meme: Sam was SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American. Of course he can play in the NFL.

Well, Jackson Jeffcoat, son of former NFL defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat, was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus All-American at defensive end. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. Jeffcoat did not get drafted and signed a free-agent contract with Seattle.

I believe Michael Sam can play in the NFL. I’ve written that, and stand by those words. His approach to making a roster is wrong. The NFL unemployment line is littered with guys who had enough talent to play but brought the wrong attitude. In terms of approach, Sam reminds me of Vince Young, the Texas quarterback who came to the league with the wrong handlers in his ear and washed out at a young age.

Ouch. But truth hurts sometimes, bruh.

Sam reported to the combine out of shape and embarrassed himself. He launched a website that is a merchandise store. He complained about being drafted too low. And now he’s signing up for a reality show focused on his personal life and professional journey.

He’s a seventh-round pick. This is preposterous. I support Michael Sam and the movement he represents. However, if I were Rams coach Jeff Fisher, I’d consider cutting $am today. He’s a marginal player with questionable focus on the game.

Michael $am thinks he’s Jadeveon Clowney, a freakish defensive end with questionable passion for the game. Clowney could get away with a reality TV show, a merchandise store and scripted draft-day love scenes. Clowney’s upside is so enormous that coaches and teammates will tolerate his diva tendencies the same way coaches and players toleratedRandy Moss for years.

This thing with Sam is playing out so bizarrely that I now wonder whether his handlers/manipulators totally misread his talent and the NFL. It appears they read “SEC Defensive Player of the Year” and assumed that meant “the next Lawrence Taylor.” They’re likely baffled that Clowney could play in the same conference as Sam, post inferior stats and be the toast of the NFL draft while Sam is a few picks from Mr. Irrelevant.

THIS.

ALL. OF. THIS.

I feel like this writer reached into my heart and soul and poured out (in a better, more knowledgeable, and experienced way lol) EVERYTHING that I feel about this.

It simply isn’t a good look.  What matters here (according to Sam) is football.  And when it was time to show up and show out on THAT end, HE. DIDN’T. Period.

He has a real chance to do exactly what his supporters are cheering him on to do.  But instead, his name is all on major media outlets in a negative tone about this show.  Don’t believe me? Go do a Google search for “Michael Sam.”  The first three headlines you will see is, “Michael Sam’s career faces real danger: The Tim Tebow Effect” from CBS Sports, the ESPN article that I posted above, and then “Michael Sam Is Doing A Reality Show, And That Sucks” from Deadspin. SMH

And MichaelSam.com? Really? How about you make the roster first!?!?!

Sir……

Check out this NFL Live video on Michael Sam’s Documentary: