Just who is Michael Sam and why is everyone, including the Pope and Cardinal Richard Dolan talking about him?
For the uninformed he is a football player, who is an excellent defensive player who had a breakout year for the University of Missouri this past fall.
In anticipation of signing a professional contract with the National Football League Sam chose a prime moment to announce that he was a homosexual.
Many in the media have waiting for an anointed one to come along and break the sexual preference barrier, which to them, was just another human rights obstacle. Lost in their fifght is the fact that most detest football, as not only Neanderthal, barbaric but seriously homophobic. Sam stands to be their agent to make America the first Rainbow Nation.
Was he recruited for this role?
Of course the Catholic Church with its long and controversial history of opposing homosexuality was drawn into the fray.
The new pope, Francis who in one short year has shown an enormous capacity for being misunderstood and taken out of context probably had more clarifications than the last four popes combined.
In a broader context, the pope when asked about homosexuality in the priesthood said: If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? He told reporters, speaking in Italian but using the English word gay.
Of course that might not apply to Sam who has been known to frequent Columbia, Missouri’s gay bars.
According to news reports the pope’s words could not have been more different from those of Benedict XVI, who in 2005 wrote that homosexuality was ‘a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil, and an objective disorder.’ The church document said men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not become priests.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera last week published an interview with the pope in which Francis reiterated the church’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman while acknowledging that governments want to adopt civil unions for gay couples and others to allow for economic and health benefits, for example.
It was the first time a pope had ever held out the possibility of the church accepting some legal arrangement for same-sex couples, and the remarks prompted a wave of stories, some indicating that the pope had endorsed civil unions or was even signaling an acceptance of gay marriage.
Vatican quickly clarified that Francis was speaking in general terms and that people should not try to read more into the pope’s words than what has been stated.
But the Pope wanted senior Church leaders to look into the issue and to scrutinize the reasons why many countries have legalized same-sex marriages.
Former Missourian, Cardinal Timothy Dolan also was asked about Sam and his gay debut. Questions like these are often designed to evoke controversial or embarrassing remarks, given the Church’s recent history sex abuse by homosexual or pederastic priests.
Virtually echoing the sentiments of the pope, Dolan said. Good for him, Dolan replied. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya.
He also added I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us, well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.’
I thought the teaching was love the sinner…hate the sin. A Bravo for an active gay man does not seem much like pastoral advice to me.
The discussion also dug deeply into America’s contentious racial past.
Liberals were able to dust off the nearly forgotten memory of true pioneer Jackie Robinson and even the often-misunderstood story of Rosa Parks to bolster Sam bid for a larger payday.
Michael Sam has the opportunity to be the Jackie Robinson of the NFL, said professor Orin Starn, chairman of Duke University’s cultural anthropology department.
This is balderdash!
Viciously taunted, and sometimes threatened by players, fans and others, Robinson faced enormous pressure to not only play well, but to do so while restraining the desire to fight back.
Not only had some of his teammates submitted a petition in Florida, saying they would not play with him but during the season pitches under his chin or in his ribs, racial taunts–black cats on the field and the unmerciful heckling of managers, such as Philadelphia’s Ben Chapman made his maiden season a living hell on earth.
Not everyone thought this was an honest comparison.
Black columnist Larry Elder wrote: the attention and pressure on Robinson makes Sam’s future career look like a coronation. Robinson’s was a pre-television, pre-Internet, Jim Crow America, where sports fans really paid keen attention to only three sports – boxing, horse racing and America’s pastime, baseball. Most everybody was watching, many hoping and expecting him to fail.
In my opinion the only thing that Sam has in common with Robinson is the color of his skin. Homosexuality is an accidental, such as religion and hair styles, not something unchangeable such as race, DNA and eye color.
Sam has not and will not suffer even a modicum of the harassment and opprobrium that Robinson endured. He has a 100% support of the gay community and the weight of a godless secular society behind him.
And whoever might have the temerity to oppose or even criticize him and maybe even his abilities on the field will quickly become and outlier and even a pariah to the game they play.
I could not help but note how many of the commentators, especially the black ones, cowered before the question when asked for their opinion.
It has been my understanding from my days as a talk show host on radio that most of my black callers were offended by the notion that anyone of their race could be a homosexual.
Such an accusation might have easily unleashed the dread R-word in any conversation. Personally I think that such a comparison is an insult to what Jackie Robinson did for his race, America’s social morality and the game of baseball.
So I have no Bravo for Michael Sam.
From what I have read he might not have enough talent to be an everyday player. He is caught in the realistic squeeze of being too small for his college position on the defensive line and too slow for a linebacker in the NFL.
Will his coming hide these facts from his judges? I don’t know.
I do wish him well and wish that the mainstream media judge him only by his abilities on the gridiron and nothing else.
Of course I doubt that because as Al Gore has so profoundly told us a zebra cannot change its spots.