The responses to my post on having “no tolerance for ‘discomfort’ over Michael Sam or the kiss” have run the complete range of emotions. From fist-pumping jubilation to “Ick” to bald bigotry barely hiding behind Bible scriptures. I’ve spent most of the day already pruning those in the latter category from my Facebook and Twitter feeds. But two comments were posted to my Facebook page that deserve attention. They express with even more clarity what I couldn’t say in the heat of the moment on Monday or in my post yesterday.
Charles Cavender of Florida zeroes in on the silly argument that Sam, an All-American football player from the University of Missouri, is getting a pass because he’s gay.
This young man has his head screwed on so well, and if you needed any proof that certain media elements are overplaying part of this story, you just needed to watch yesterday’s press conference. They’d ask about gay, he’d answer about football. He doesn’t want a free pass because he is gay. He wants to be judged like any other football player and make the team on his own merits. Good for him. He gets it where too many others do not.
Clinton Hancock of Indiana took on the “ick” factor for straight guys and reminded them of what manhood really is.
I had a discussion with someone Monday who had been making tasteless jokes for days about this. I asked him, “What exactly is your problem with this?” His response was, “Man, I don’t want some other guy checking me out in the locker room!” I started laughing. I said, “First of all, dude, look at his boyfriend. The guy looks like a Ralph Lauren model. You, on the other hand, look like a boil that is ready to be lanced. You haven’t had abs like that since 2nd grade. Michael is way out of your league so no worries there. Second, Michael Sam shared the most important day of his life to this point with someone he loves. Just as every other player in the league has. The difference is the road he tracked to get there was filled with internal struggles and fear that makes him stronger than we could ever be. I have two young sons. I hope they become half the man Michael Sam is.” I still worship Tom Brady though.
Hancock’s response to his friend is just perfect. Those last lines about his sons reminded me of what Wall Street titan John Mack told me about his openly gay son. “He is, at every level, the son I wanted,” Mack said. Being gay is not something to be tolerated. It is who people are, how God made them. I just wish more people were like Hancock, Cavender and Mack than the narrow-minded folks clouding my feeds on social media.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj