HAIL MARY PASS: ‘Michael Sam Is A Distraction’

That’s what they said about this little girl.

DAILY BEAST: The NFL was thrust into the 20th century Sunday. Its old guard pushed back Monday, and I felt a powerful jolt of deja vu: Didn’t the Pentagon just run this experiment? And abandon it after 17 counter-productive years? Michael Sam, the bravest football player in America, handed the NFL a gift when he came out Sunday night, four months before the draft. Most of America cheered and the NFL outwardly heaped on the praise with a glowing public statement. But back in the executive suites, the old guard running the league anonymously grumbled. Sports Illustrated  quoted eight anonymous executives and coaches issuing one tired dig after another. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game,” one said. “To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.” “Their answers were consistently unsparing,” SI said, with the execs collectively predicting “a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock.” Sportswriter Rob Rang concurred in a CBS sports piece titled: “Examining why Michael Sam’s NFL Draft stock is falling.”  Even gay-rights champion and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe conceded on Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night that Sam had probably hurt himself in the draft. “Sam’s homosexuality isn’t the point,” Rob Rang assured us. But coming out, that’s causing trouble. Sound familiar? The old men of the NFL are trotting out the same tired arguments the codgers in the Pentagon got away with for years. The military fretted about “unit cohesion.” This week, the charge sounds comically pettier: They keep referring to telling the truth as a “distraction.” Both old guards feign horror at nakedness in the showers—as if most straight men in America haven’t pulled their dicks out at a urinal beside a gay guy in the last week. MORE