MLB Executives, Including Theo Epstein, Plenty Open to a Michael Sam

mlb logoAddressing the question I raised yesterday in the wake of top college defensive end Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay, Ken Rosenthal spoke with a handful of Major League Baseball executives on how they would respond if they were in the position to consider drafting an openly-gay player like Sam. All said they would have no problem bringing Sam into the organization, and you can see their specific thoughts in Rosenthal’s piece.

Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein’s response is highlighted first, and I think that’s appropriate, given that he knocked it out of the park:

“If the reports about his football ability and character are accurate, we would sign the baseball Michael Sam in a second and be a better organization for it,” Epstein told Rosenthal.

In other words: good player? Good teammate? Good character? Bring him on.

I don’t think anyone can completely ignore the clubhouse and media implications of bringing in the “first Michael Sam” in baseball, because, right now, it isn’t as simple as saying “if he can play baseball, the rest takes care of itself.” While that’s certainly true in the long-term, there could be clubhouse issues to diffuse, and an incessant media drumbeat to deal with. A strong organization, however, would and should be willing to deal with those things to bring aboard a quality player.

And, on that point, you can head to the other side of town for an excellent point.

“Are you, as a leader of your organization, prepared to provide the young man the public and private support he will need along with controlling, to the extent you can, what the behavior is in the clubhouse/locker room?” White Sox President Kenny Williams told Rosenthal.

“If the answer is yes, then you have an opportunity to use what some see as a distraction and use it as an individual and team character-building opportunity along the lines of what Branch Rickey did for Jackie Robinson. If the answer is no, then it is unfair to select him because like it or not, this will be a daily media/fan event and will need to be managed to keep everyone’s focus on the job at hand.”

This is something that will come up in baseball within the next few years. MLB is getting the benefit of Michael Sam (and, to a lesser extent, Jason Collins (since he hasn’t played post-announcement)) breaking in the national consciousness a bit before having to deal with the issue directly. But I think we all do ourselves a service, as fans of the sport, to discuss the issue openly and respectfully now in the abstract – then everyone is all the more prepared when “the issue” is actually “a person.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

315 responses to “MLB Executives, Including Theo Epstein, Plenty Open to a Michael Sam”

  1. CubFan Paul

    “discuss the issue openly and respectfully now in the abstract – then everyone is all the more prepared when “the issue” is actually “a person.””

    I don’t know. Yesterday’s post showed that most people are still plenty dense and stubborn.

    1. E

      Man, that’s the truth. Yikes. There were some pretty ugly comments.

    2. ssckelley

      “Yesterday’s post showed that most people are still plenty dense and stubborn.”

      On both sides.

      1. TWC

        When it comes to wanting equal protection and social justice for all?

        Fuck yeah.

        1. ssckelley

          I agree that everyone deserves to be treated like a human being no matter your skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or whatever. What I don’t care for is the hypocrisy with all the people that preach acceptance and then will turn around and attack someone who expresses their beliefs. IMO I think people went way overboard attacking blublud yesterday and stuff like that will keep true social acceptance from ever happening.

          1. Isaac

            Agreed. There is a reason our constitution talks about religious freedoms…it’s because those freedoms are the very freedoms that are most vehemently and venomously attacked. It’s “cool” to attack those with beliefs of a spiritual nature. It’s “dense” to believe in God. It’s “social equality” to say one person or belief should be accepted, but “acceptable” to rail someone else that believes in God because it’s a “choice”. It is a choice, a choice that was obviously important enough for our Founding Fathers to write into the very fabric of our nation.

            1. Noah_I

              I’d just like to note that the Constitution says much less about religion than most on both side of this argument think. Literally, all it says is: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

              It merely prevents the state from doing anything that establishes or prohibits free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the way other citizens may treat another regarding religion.

              People can decide that they think that certain behaviors, even those that are religiously sanctioned, are reprehensible enough that they should not be acceptable in society. Now, this does not allow the government to prohibit these behaviors, but it does allow society as a whole to express their displeasure with those behaviors.

              In other words, someone deriding a religious person for thinking gay marriage is immoral due to their religious beliefs is not preventing their ability to believe gay marriage is immoral. And it doesn’t violate the first amendment. However, the state legally preventing someone from exercising a right because of a groups religious beliefs is arguably unconstitutional.

              1. Hee Seop Chode

                Actually, there is precident for federal law striking down religiously sanctioned practices –

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_polygamy

          2. hawkinright

            Couldn’t agree more ssckelley! I don’t one bit about sexual orientation and hopes Sams has a long, productive career. The issue that I thought showed on the board yesterday was certain folks belief that if you don’t think exactly like they do then your “stupid” or “ignorant”. Far more Christian bashing than gay bashing displayed yesterday IMO.

            1. Funn Dave

              Disagreeing with someone is a long way from “bashing” him or her.

              1. hawkinright

                We can argue about the symantics or definition of bashing but when we start to name call,which was displayed many times in regards to Christianity. To me, that falls under bashing.

              2. ssckelley

                The only ones I see that are bashing or name calling here are the very same ones that argue for “equal protection and social justice for all”.

                1. Jon

                  Those damn “social justice for all” peeps. They think their opinion is so superior to others they have to name call!

            2. roz

              Let me know when players think that Christians would be a distraction in the locker room and then we can whine about Christian bashing.

          3. TWC

            I don’t give a shit about your beliefs, Kelley — they’re completely irrelevant to me. But it’s when those beliefs drive laws and regulations that serve to institutionalize prejudice against one group or another I have a problem.

            1. bbmoney

              This. Precisely this.

            2. hawkinright

              The same could be said about your beliefs TWC. For the record I’m all for gay marriage, would never vote for someone who doesn’t support equality, etc. What I’m not all for is when those dismiss others beliefs as ignorant or stupid because they don’t fall in line with theirs.

              1. TWC

                Did you actually read that I wrote? Or did you just not understand it?

                Folks’ *beliefs*, mine, yours, anyone else’s, are irrelevant. When the action that people take in support of those beliefs infringes on the rights of others, I have a problem.

                1. hawkinright

                  My point is that all legislation is driven by belief. So your against any prejudice towards Christianity as well?

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    Dense and stubborn

                    1. hawkinright

                      There we go, name calling! Exactly what I’m talking about. Does this make you feel enlightened?

                    2. ssckelley

                      “dense and stubborn”.

                      This seems to be your favorite post these days. Are you not capable of having a discussion without name calling?

                    3. CubFan Paul

                      “Are you not capable of having a discussion without name calling?”

                      With people who are dense & stubborn? No.

                    4. Jason P

                      Then why comment?

                  2. bbmoney

                    If legislation is being driven by religious beliefs they’re doing it wrong.

                    The rule of law in this country should be in place to protect people from physical harm and to protect property rights. To a lesser extent it’s in place to promote economic growth.

                    It should never be used to promote beliefs and certainly not religious beliefs. If it’s being driven by religious beliefs we’ve stopped being a democracy with freedom of religion and become a Theocracy….you know, kind of like Iran just with a different religion.

            3. WGNstatic

              Yes, yes, 1000 times yes

            4. ssckelley

              I don’t give a shit if you have a problem with it or not nobody has the right to attack me for my beliefs. The fact that you had to say “I have a problem” says everything, you are the one with the problem not me. As far as the laws are concerned we live in a democratic society let your vote determine who gets to decide on what laws and regulations we have to follow. Attacking those that do not share the same beliefs as you will not lead to “equal protection and social justice for all”.

              1. TWC

                “… nobody has the right to attack me for my beliefs.”

                I’d suggest that one has an obligation to do so when those beliefs infringe the rights of others.

                “Attacking those that do not share the same beliefs as you will not lead to “equal protection and social justice for all”.”

                You just don’t get it.

                1. ssckelley

                  “I’d suggest that one has an obligation to do so when those beliefs infringe the rights of others.”

                  How is that going for you?

                  “You just don’t get it.”

                  So tell me how attacking peoples believes is going to get “equal protection and social justice for all”. Isn’t attacking someones beliefs the root of the problem?

                  1. TWC

                    “How is that going for you?”

                    Pretty great, really! The rapid, and growing, acceptance of gay marriage over the last decade is a huge victory.

                    “Isn’t attacking someones beliefs the root of the problem?”

                    No. Institutionalized prejudice is the problem.

                    1. ssckelley

                      I can guarantee that your approach is not why there is a growing acceptance of gay marriages.

            5. MichaelD

              You have your beliefs the same as everyone else that influence your views on what decisions society should make. You have come to your position based on your morals and ethics. Then you attempt to put the opposing view as out of bounds because you assume that your underlying beliefs are superior to your opponents.

            6. Jason P

              You have a problem with when people’s beliefs impose on other people’s rights, but yet at the same time you’re defining what other people’s rights are based on … your beliefs?

          4. Darth Ivy

            +1

          5. CubsFaninMS

            Great post! My beliefs differ a pretty good bit from BluBlud but I commend him for politely stating his moral beliefs and not wavering in those beliefs. We’re all Cubs fans (i.e. common ground).

          6. roz

            If your belief includes thinking that a certain class of people are sinful and don’t deserve the full rights of everyone else, you don’t, and shouldn’t, get the benefit of tolerance. Tolerance means accepting the innate characteristics of people. It does not mean accepting bigots.

        2. Jon

          It got really nasty at/after midnight, I was working on some status reports and checked in, yikes!

      2. Noah_I

        I generally avoided this discussion yesterday, but this is the way I view it:

        People are allowed to be bigoted/prejudiced/racist/think certain activities are immoral in any way they wish. The problem becomes when these prejudices/thoughts result in a desire to legally prevent a group of people from undertaking certain activities that either clearly do not harm others or only harm others in some extraordinarily amorphous sense, when looked through a particular moral point of view.

        So you can find gay marriage immoral. You can find interracial marriage immoral. You are allowed to think these things. But: (a) you should not be allowed to pass legislation preventing either of these activities unless you can show some clear harm that allowing them would cause to others; and (b) just as you are allowed to tell people that you think a certain activity is immoral, I am allowed to tell you that I think that you thinking gay marriage is a sin, for example, is immoral in its own right.

        Personal example: my parents are snobs about education. When my sister was in college and seriously dating a mechanic who had dropped out of college after one year, my parents would have had serious issues with it had they ever gotten engaged. My parents are flat out prejudiced towards people who do not have college degrees. This is their prerogative, and my family and I can tell my parents we feel that their views towards people who don’t have college degrees are incorrect and, in many ways, immoral. But it would not be ok (although it actually would arguably be constitutional, since educational status is not a protected class) for my parents to argue that people without college degrees should not be allowed to legally marry people with college degrees.

        1. Napercal

          I think quite a bit of this is generational. My oldest child is a history buff and just started teaching junior high history. I see in my family how attitudes towards Civil Rights evolved though four generations. My grandparents were flat out racists. I don’t mean to condemn them, but that is the truth. My parents believed in equal rights as long as it didn’t effect them and minorities stayed in their own “areas”. O think they knew that the mistreatment of blacks was wrong, but they didn’t feel the need to do anything about it. I remember the civil rights movement as kid and couldn’t understand why the police wanted to use dogs and hoses to hurt kids. I grew up feeling that I wanted minorities to be treated the same as me, but I must admit I grew up afraid of certain minority groups. Fortunately sports and particularly the Cubs helped erase those fears over time. My son, and his generation, I think sees the world very differently. He looks through history and thinks that all of the Jim Crow laws were stupid and can’t understand why anyone ever thought they made sense. He wrote his thesis about the Black Power movement and compared it to some writing from the Revolutionary War era and demonstrated that the language and points made by the leaders of the Black Power movement were no different than the arguments made by Thomas Jefferson et.al. He views the Black Power movement leaders as revolutionary heroes.

          My point is that people’s attitudes change from generation to generation. Having been raised in a strict conservative Catholic home, my attitude toward gays has completely changed over my life primarily because I have met enough gay people in ordinary life who have been brave enough to speak out. I now support gay marriage etc. Again, my parents think being gay is awful, my son could care less and thinks that being gay is no different than hair or eye color or being right-handed or left-handed. You are born that way and it’s not the basis for determining what rights someone should or should not have.

          As a Catholic, I’ve tried to separate what the institutional Catholic Church teaches from what Jesus taught and became the foundation for Catholicism. Jesus said “Love your neighbor”. No caveats. Since I’ve lived these debates about homosexuality at the dinner table and at church, I suppose I am disappointed in people that use the name of Jesus to promote a message that is contrary to what Jesus said. We can’t see into their hearts so we can’t judge, but their arguments are unconvincing.

          1. ssckelley

            Good post! I do not agree with everything you posted but I strongly agree in “Love your neighbor”, I have another to add “he that is perfect be the first to cast a stone”.

            This is why I have acceptance towards a lifestyle that I do not agree with. While I might believe that me having sex with another man is biblically wrong as an imperfect human being I have no right to judge what others do in the privacy of their own home. That “love thy neighbor” thing, Jesus meant that and the way he conducted himself when he was on the earth reflected it.

            1. Ivy Walls

              ++, experiences with family a reflective. Mine goes further. Cultural divisions and lifestyles define much of a person. Inequality is just that, un equal. We stand here beyond the threshold of including institutionally previous shunned to worse despised as deviants, our gay and lesbian (or bisexual) brothers and sisters to the open society. Each month there will be more cultural institutions challenged, no different than when women strove to become culturally and legally equal in the world.

              I truly have gay family members, my generation witnessed their silence because of necessity and that remains a tragedy. Our succeeding generation is now open, (though we have biased members even there, most find the whole bit so so so what). What I am fascinated is that I have a nephew who is on that MIZZU team, never heard a peep about this being any form of distraction in or out that locker room—why because like Jackie Robinson or Ernie Banks, Sam performed—even led. Sports is a unique situation, you may not like your teammate personally, but if that teammate contributes to the win, well by all means he or she is welcome.

              As for the bigots, the deniers, those who hide behind all forms of human prejudice be it cultural or religious or merely social….you have time to learn.

            2. Napercal

              I meant to add about casting the first stone. I agree.

  2. itzscott

    Ya know?…. Theo and ALL baseball exec say the politically correct thing right now because they know it’s impossible for them to draft Michael Sam.

    It’ll be much more interesting when they’re confronted by the real possibility of acquiring an out & proud baseball player.

    As great as a gay athlete maybe can be, any GM’s decision will boil down to how they perceive it’ll be accepted by the team.

    1. Noah_I

      We’ll get some idea of any effect of this by where Sam is selected in the NFL Draft.

      1. mdavis

        yea, i think if we start seeing Sam slip past the 5th round you might start to scratch your head. I think he’s in the 4-5 range, because of limitations he has in terms of size, and athletic ability. but that being said, you have a chance to draft the SEC defensive player of the year in round 5, you do it.

  3. Cornish Heat

    So awesome. We root for the good guys.

  4. Darth Ivy

    I’m sure more and more people will emerge as gay leaders pretty quickly. I love it! The positive and real life leadership will help a lot of people. I just hope the media doesn’t go overboard and make themselves a distraction to these brave people doing their jobs.

    1. CubFan Paul

      Ellen is hosting the Oscars.

      1. Darth Ivy

        i think showbiz has done pretty well in providing gay leadership (understatement of the year?). This issue is in the context of sports because that’s probably the toughest industry for gay people (well, men’s sports). In highschool I worked for the bears as a ballboy. It is not a conducive atmosphere for an openly gay man, to say the least.

        1. Darth Ivy

          haha, or to look at it in another way, it’s VERY conducive for gay men who haven’t come out!

  5. MightyBear

    I agree with Theo and Williams. If the kid can play ball who cares. I also think younger people are more used to this situation and think of it as a non issue than older people and they would deal with it better than what is being said. However, I believe the biggest issue with this would be the media. They would beat this to death and would be a major problem with this situation. It will be nice 20 years from now when this is a non issue and it really doesn’t matter.

  6. itzscott

    >> I also think younger people are more used to this situation <<

    While I'll agree that younger people are more accepting about diversity, I wouldn't necessarily agree the same can be said about non-Americans that have not attended American public schools.

    Looking at it from a cultural standpoint, I'm not so sure that Hispanics are as okay with it.

    1. Funn Dave

      ^racist^

      1. itzscott

        >Far from it.<

        Knee jerk response from an obvious jerk

        1. Funn Dave

          You made a sweeping generalization about Hispanic persons. That’s pretty much the definition of racism.

          1. itzscott

            Really? How so??

            “Looking at it from a cultural standpoint, I’m not so sure that Hispanics are as okay with it.”

            Would it be racist if someone pointed out the Russian position on homosexuality or is Putin going it alone on that one even though the vast majority of Russians are okay with it?

            Again, a knee jerk response without paying much attention to sentence structure.

            1. Funn Dave

              It would not be racist to criticize Putin’s position. It would not be racist to criticize Russia’s official position. It is racist, however, to say that Putin’s position on homosexuality or Russia’s laws relating to homosexuality represent the “Russian position” on homosexuality. Russia is composed of a wide variety of people, and stereotyping them as anti-gay is a disservice to the thousands of Russians that have protested the Olympics and Putin’s policies.

            2. Funn Dave

              And just to be clear, I’m not saying that you’re racist. Just that that comment was inherently racist.

              1. CubsFaninMS

                Wouldn’t that fall into more of being “ethnocentric”? I’m of the opinion that the word “racism” is used way too liberally these days. So is homophobia. I’m from the South. I’ve seen both of them in their truest form.

                1. Funn Dave

                  I think ethnocentrism can definitely fuel racism. Perhaps instead of racism I should have said “stereotyping.”

                  1. CubsFaninMS

                    It’s all wording, I guess I was being a little bit of a word nazi. Stereotyping would make definitely make sense.

      2. TWC

        Nonsense. Polling has regularly shown that hispanics are far, far less likely to support gay marriage, for example.

        1. Funn Dave

          If you’d seen our conversation yesterday, you’d know there are plenty of people who are accepting of gays but do not support gay marriage. And I’d like to know how one can poll, say, Guatemala with any trace of accuracy.

          1. TWC

            I don’t care what happened yesterday. But it’s not racist to say that latino support for gay marriage, for example, sufficiently lags other cohorts. Homosexuality is punishable by 10 years in prison in Belize — foreign gays are prohibited from entering the country!

            1. Funn Dave

              Again, that reflects only the legal status on homosexuality in Belize, and has no bearing on or relation to how its individual citizens feel on the subject. And again, you’re conflating gay marriage with with homosexuality in general.

              1. TWC

                You’re right, Dave, I haven’t been able to take the time to ask all latinos’ their thoughts on homosexuality so that I can provide you with unanimous feedback. I’ll get back to you when I’ve been able to do so.

                1. Funn Dave

                  That’s my point. Were you to somehow ask all Latinos their thoughts, their feedback would not be unanimous. So there’s no way to make a generalization about their views on social matters. To speak to your specific example, Belize in an extradinarily diverse nation. Only 50% of its inhabitants identify themselves as Latino. Moreover, is government is not representational of its citizens–for example, 48.3% of its women participate in the workforce, but only 13.3% of the seats in its National Assembly are staffed by women. So its policy on homosexuality, as messed up as it is, has no correlation with its citizens’ actual views on the subject.

    2. Ivy Walls

      Really, then you haven’t been in public schools, esp public high schools that are diverse. Students I am experienced with, and esp high schools that have 40% Latino, 25% African-Am., 20% white and the rest a mix of Asian and Middle East/Indian have no trouble as do mostly white (50%), at least here in Colorado.

      In WI I didn’t see Latinos or others having much bias towards gays either.

      That my friends is a typical past idea. Be educated and learn.

  7. nate1m

    Brett, I really like the way you wrote this article. The answer to all your questions was maybe and that is exactly right. The issue is complex. A person shouldn’t lose or gain anything because they are homosexual. The problem come from the outside impacts and how it can affect a team. I honestly have no idea what will happen after Sam is draft but things will be different. The problem with being the first at anything I guess. Hopefully in a decade this will no longer matter but until openly gay athletes are involved in all sports there will be an issue for teams to deal with.

  8. Jon

    If the Cubs had $1 for every time someone posted the “It’s cool though, cause I have a gay friend” excuse yesterday, they could have signed Tanaka this off season.

    1. Darth Ivy

      I’d be careful about disregarding some peoples’ views on this. We don’t know who is gay or bi around here. You wouldn’t want to disregard someone’s view when in reality that person really is gay or bi. And not every gay or bi person advertises their sexual orientation. That’s a private matter that many don’t feel comfortable sharing in this kind of way. Think how you would feel if you were gay and someone disregarded your opinion on this matter with that kind of response.

      1. Funn Dave

        So you’re saying that the people yesterday that considered homosexuality immoral & used the fact that they have gay friends as “proof” that they aren’t homophobic were likely gay themselves? And that Jon’s comment marginalizes them somehow?

        1. Darth Ivy

          No, that’s not what im saying. Just take what I wrote literally and don’t make assumptions about what you think I mean. I know for a fact that what I wrote happened at least once.

          1. Funn Dave

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. I just honestly didn’t get the point you were trying to make or how it related to Jon’s comment.

            1. Darth Ivy

              The point is that there are probably gay/bi people here who sound like they’re basing their opinions on their “gay friend” bc thats a personal issue that they don’t feel comfortable talking about here. It’s the “I have this friend….” cliche. And think about how you’d feel if you were one of these gay/bi people and read Jon’s comment. You wouldn’t be very happy about it.

              1. Funn Dave

                Oh, I see what you’re saying. Maybe I’m misremembering, but I think the people who referred to their gay friends were the people on the other side of the debate.

                1. Funn Dave

                  See Jon’s comment below. He explains it better than I did.

      2. Jon

        The “I have a gay friend” excuse is used after they make a post about how they are personally opposed to homosexuality. You are really reaching here.

        1. Darth Ivy

          Nope, I know for a fact that watt im talking about happened at least once.

          1. Brocktoon

            But nobody is talking about that

            1. Darth Ivy

              that doesn’t make sense. I’m writing about jon’s comment. How can you claim that “no one is talking about that” when I’m simply talking about what jon wrote?

              1. Brocktoon

                What Jon wrote was referring to, “Homosexuality is totally immoral, and I don’t agree with it, but don’t worry I’m not a hater, I have a gay friend”

                How that has anything to do with what you’re talking about is beyond me.

                1. Darth Ivy

                  this is what I was responding to

                  “If the Cubs had $1 for every time someone posted the “It’s cool though, cause I have a gay friend” excuse yesterday, they could have signed Tanaka this off season.”

                  1. Darth Ivy

                    and there’s a difference between intentions and consequences. He may have meant that, but that’s not how the comment came across. That’s the entire point of why I started my response with, “I’d be careful…” and not just attacking him. I was simply expressing to him how his comment came across. How I reacted to it. And my reaction was based on an observation I actually made, not just some abstract idea.

            2. Darth Ivy

              or if you’re referring to the point I’m making about jon’s comment, then that makes even less sense because yes, one person is talking about that. Me.

        2. ssckelley

          I know when I have said this I am trying to come across as someone who has already achieved a certain level of acceptance towards those that are gay (not completely prejudice). You do come across people that are extremely prejudice and are very outspoken, IMO that is wrong as well.

          1. Jon

            I am outspoken about social justice. You have me there.

  9. VanceLawblawsLawBlog

    I love Kenny Williams’ quotes on this. He is absolutely right. If an organization is strong enough to handle it, then they are the ones that are in a position to handle the increased media attention. Dont’e Stallworth spent about 9 tweets yesterday laying out how a professional team like the Patriots could have as many things happen to them over the course of a single summer, and still take a team to the AFC Championship game.

    Professionalism starts at the top.

    1. Funn Dave

      Yup. My example last night was that if a team expects to deal with the media frenzy of the Super Bowl, they’d better be more than able to handle any extra media attention that a gay athelete may receive.

      1. VanceLawblawsLawBlog

        Agreed. I’d hate to see him drafted by a team like the Redskins or Browns, where there is such obvious dysfunction at the top. This might be better talked out on the Bears side of the site, but I’d like to think a progressive thinking guy like Marc Trestman and a personnel savvy GM like Emery would provide the right scenario for a player like Sam. Then I remember Lance Briggs Twitter stuff after Jason Collins came out, and wonder if it would be a good fit.

  10. WGNstatic

    For those hiding behind the “Sams will be a a distraction” bull, take a look back at the 1947 Dodgers, the 1946 Cleveland Browns (broke the NFL color barrier), or the 1950 NY Knicks.

    All three of those teams were playoff teams in their first year with a black player. It is a fool’s errand to attempt to equate breaking the color barrier with being the first openly gay athlete in one of the big 4 sports in the US. However, as far as the “distraction” question goes, it is pretty clear that good teams that bring in good players, regardless of questions of race, religion, sexual orientation, hair color, etc., will be improved.

    Honestly, the story that his sexual orientation will be a distraction strikes me as a ready made excuse for bigotry.

  11. Johnny Chess

    If you were in a room with a 100 conservatively dressed men and half were gay you couldn’t tell the difference unless you asked. Which is no different from someone asking if you had sex today. When it comes right down to it it’s all about sexual preference. Which should be private. The main issue in a locker room is being embarrassed by someone who may look at you a certain way. That insecurity is the cause of concern. Some may act out verbally, physically or jokingly. If women are free to roam the locker room full of naked men then surely gay men should be accepted as well because in the end it takes two to Tango.

    1. Funn Dave

      Put up some curtains in the locker room. Boom. Problem solved.

  12. Brandon

    I’m tired of people saying that he is the first one to come out before the draft. I like how nobody remembers K-Alan Gendreau from Mid. Tennessee State a couple of years ago. The same things were said about him at the time and he went undrafted. Granted only 2 kickers got drafted that year and he was better than at least one of them. If anybody remembers the player from the 49ers saying something along the lines of, gays get the fuck up out of our house, and I don’t remember many ,if any players saying anything different, I think they all stayed pretty quiet after that. I’m not bashing anybody as I’ve got gay cousins, just noting how quickly Alan’s guts got dismissed and forgotten. I still think he has an up-hill battle despite of what all the gm’s/owners are sayin, they still have to convince the players in the locker roomthat it will be fine. That said, good luck kid.

  13. blublud

    As a GM, I don’t know if I can draft a gay player right now. I agree, Michael Same deserves his shot and wish him the best. But drafting a gay player would be similar to signing Tim Tebow. Do you want the distraction of the media and all that comes with it. So in my opinion, it would be less about him being gay and more about him being a distraction.

    I also don’t think Sams should have come out. No one needs to announce there orientation. If he’s gay, so what. He shouldn’t hide it either. He should just be himself and live his life. If he is seen out with his boyfriend, so what. Being openly gay is fine. “Coming out” or making announcements about it is unneeded. If he is just living his life and people are ridiculing him, that’s wrong. When you make an announcement, however, you are opening yourself up as a target. So if he is ridiculed, its no ones fault but his. He should take a note from Anderson Cooper. Cooper never really came out. Everyone knew he was gay, but no one cared. He was asked if he was gay, and he said yes. His “announcement” came and went with hardly no fan fair, and no one cared either way. He never hid it or announced it. He just lived his life.

    1. Jon

      How come “they” always have to rub it in your face? How can they be so shameless?
      American%20Beauty%20Chris%20Cooper.jpg

    2. mak19

      Good lord, this makes you sound incredibly dumb. There is no way to sugar coat it.

      1. mak19

        And to clarify, how does one both “not come out” and “not hide (their sexuality).” One cannot be openly gay without coming out. You’d prefer he not say anything, and then one day he gets “caught” with another man? Yea, that wouldn’t be a distraction.

        1. CubFan Paul

          “and then one day he gets “caught” with another man? Yea, that wouldn’t be a distraction”

          Poor Eddie Murphy.

        2. blublud

          You sound dumb for you lack of comprehension. I said a person should be able to live their life without it being a big deal. I said that he shouldn’t have to make an announcement, because it shouldn’t be a big deal. I also said if he is out with a boyfriend, no one should care. If he shows up at practice and to the games in great shape, give 100% and tries to help the team win, then any other aspect of his life should not be a big deal. In fact it shouldn’t be a deal at all. We shouldn’t care.

          1. Funn Dave

            Well, clearly, it is a big deal, and people do care. If we lived in a fictional world where people didn’t care, you’d be right. As it is, people do care, so your statement makes no sense.

            1. blublud

              Actually it makes plenty of sense. There are 15 hundred to 2 thousand players in the NFL every year. I’m sure there has been gay players to play. I’m sure people knew about these players. You need to look no further than Sams at school last year. He didn’t make an announcement, and he didn’t hide it. He just lived his life. No one in the media cared. It wasn’t discussed one time. And if the whole team knew, I’m sure someone outside the school in at least in the local media knew. No cared and he was accepted for being him until he made an announcement. And even then, his teammates said they knew before he told them, and they didn’t care.

              1. Jon

                ” And even then, his teammates said they knew before he told them, and they didn’t care.”

                Actually

                http://msn.foxsports.com/midwest/story/mizzou-te-eric-waters-calls-out-proud-sam-teammates-on-twitter-021014

                Twitter is just like the “I have gay friends” front.

              2. Patrick W.

                He most assuredly did make an announcement to his teammates. In a team meeting. He said about 1/3 of his teammates already new.

                I totally get what you’re saying about this. As I read you’re saying that because his sexual orientation doesn’t have any effect on his play, it shouldn’t be discussed, because after all we don’t discuss straight players’ sexuality.

                There is a problem with that thought. Gay people are institutionally discriminated against in the laws of this country. They do not have the same rights as you and I do, and you don’t want them to have equality in marriage. You advocate separate but equal status. The only thing that disallows them equality is their sexual orientation, because people say “it’s not normal”. If we said left-handed people couldn’t marry other left-handed people, if we said being left-handed wasn’t normal, the first left-handed football player is doing the right thing by declaring his proud left-handedness, because then other left-handed people will see, maybe it is normal, even if it is different.

              3. Funn Dave

                Actually, he did formally announce it to his team. No one in the media cared because no one in the media knew. If Sam had chosen to keep his orientation a secret as he entered the draft would he just have to assume that all of his teammates would keep his secret? Isn’t that unfair, both to him and his teammates? Not to mention, he’d have to hide any same-sex relationships from the media if he chose not to come out.

          2. mak19

            In your fantasy world, where everyone accepts one another for their true character, then maybe it wouldn’t be a story? No shit.

            But how on Earth can you float that proposition with the one where you lead “As a GM, I don’t know if I can draft a gay player right now. “

            1. Jon

              It’s like people completly ignore

              The Mike Priefer story
              http://deadspin.com/i-was-an-nfl-player-until-i-was-fired-by-two-cowards-an-1493208214

              Kerry Rhodes
              Graded as one of the better safties in 2012, couldn’t get a job in 2013 because of gay rumors.

              This whole “it’s a given he’ll be accepted” stuff is a bunch of shit.

              Reggie White and Tony Dungy were two well known anti gay bigots as well that hid behind the cloak of religion.

              1. Jon

                As a Bears fan, and watching those two clowns at safety this year, for the life of me I couldn’t fathom why the Bears wouldn’t give Rhodes a tryout at least.

                GM’s are talking the right things now, but talk is cheap.

                1. blublud

                  And that’s their right. As a black man, I am completely 100% against affirmative action. I’m against forcing anyone who takes there own money and runs a company from hiring anyone. If a GM/team doesn’t want to sign him, that should be that GM’s/team’s right. Just like it should be a GM’s/team’s right to sign him.

                  1. Jon

                    So if I run a restaurant in a rich, white, suburban community, it’s ok for me not to hire a black guy, because it might not jive with my clientele?

                    1. blublud

                      Yep, completely. I would have no problem with that Jon.

                    2. ssckelley

                      I can see pros and cons on both sides of this. If I owned a business my number one priority would be to run a successful business, another high priority would be the safety of my staff.

                      Tough one!

                    3. blublud

                      But Jon, remember, hypothetically, I live in the suburbs also and I eat out quite a bit at nice restaurants. And in my suburban community, there are quite a few blacks, so you have to weigh that. But whatever choice you make, its yours to make.

                    4. bbmoney

                      Wow…that’s not a tough question…..at all.

                      Of course that’s not ok.

                    5. Boogens

                      “So if I run a restaurant in a rich, white, suburban community, it’s ok for me not to hire a black guy…”

                      The simple answer is to hire the best person for the job. Ethnicity shouldn’t matter. I would not want to own or run a restaurant where I would have to cater to a clientele that cares about the staff’s ethnicity.

                2. ssckelley

                  I am a Bears fan (kinda like saying I have gay friends), but I do not know what the locker room is like. Is the Bears locker room one where a gay person could come in and be productive with the team or cause problems to the point where it can affect the performance on the field? This is a big reason why I think Sam through it out there, I don’t think any football player would want to be thrown into a locker room where he would not be accepted as a football player.

                  1. blublud

                    I agree. But if he has interviews where he can tell the GM. I feel as though he knew he would have to say it in interviews, so he also told the media so that it would harder for a GM not to draft him. I guess from that stand point, I don’t have a problem with it.

                    1. ssckelley

                      But I think using the media to announce it holds a greater level of responsibility, otherwise this would be a non story. Whether right or wrong everyone is now going to be watching the NFL draft to see if Sam announcing he is gay has an impact on where he gets drafted. I don’t think he wants to hide behind closed doors, he wants to get it out there for everyone to know and then eventually be able to focus on football.

                  2. Darth Ivy

                    There are so many guys in the nfl locker room (I used to be a ballboy) that you get everything. There will be very supportive guys and guys who feel uncomfortable. And the players aren’t all friends with each other. They have clicks just like any large social group. Im sure Sam will find a click that he fits with. He’ll also realize that some of his teammates aren’t comfortable around him. But that’s the case with everyone. There’s always guys who don’t like each other. Bottom line, I think he’ll be fine whoever he goes

                    1. Darth Ivy

                      Wherever

            2. blublud

              I would probably pass on him because he brought the media attention to this. Like Tim Tebow, who I think can actually be a decent QB, but because of his extreme views(of which I agree with a lot of them) and the media that it brings, I would probably pass on him.

              1. Jason P

                What makes you think Tebow could be a decent QB? That guys awful.

                1. blublud

                  The same as Vince Young. Look at their teams record when the were on the team and not playing, and compare it to when they were playing. Tebow make look awful, but he wins. That’s all I care about.

                  1. Jason P

                    The sample size is too small to make any conclusions. Plus, he’s 8-7 as a starter anyway, which isn’t even a playoff record.

    3. Funn Dave

      How can a team expect to overcome the media surrounding the World Series if they can’t overcome the media surrounding one of their players? You may remember that there was a lot of media attention on Fukudome when he first joined the Cubs. Did it have an adverse effect on the team. Not at all; in fact, judging from Carrie’s pieces on the subject, it was very much a bonding experience.

    4. Funn Dave

      And for you to say that he shouldn’t have come out is judgemental and wrong. He should just live his life and not say either way? Then what happens when he’s asked by a reporter about his sexuality? If he’s honest then he’ll be accused of having hidden this aspect of himself and there will be just as much hoopla. If not, then he’s hiding it. You can’t be openly gay without telling people that you’re gay.

      1. blublud

        A reporter should not ask about it. A reporter should ask him questions about his sport. But if a reporter ask him and he chooses to answer, he should tell the truth and there should be nothing said about it.

        I’m in management, in Aviation. I’m one of the few blacks in management in Aviation. Its a very white male dominated industry. Should I make an announcement that I’m black. No. It should matter. No one cares.

        1. mak19

          That would be weird if they asked what color your skin is. This “he shouldn’t have to” argument is totally irrelevant and misleading. The fact is, in the world we live in, sexual orientation in sports is controversial. In 20 years, if it’s not, you can thank Michael Sam.

          1. mak19

            And the most obvious point about your post, the fact that no one cares about skin color is because we went through 100′s of years of civil rights movements. There was a first black aviator that you should thank. Michael Sam is important for that very reason.

            1. blublud

              I don’t have my job because of the first black aviator, whose name is Emory Malick, but because I worked hard and proved my worth from the bottom, starting as an entry level aircraft mechanic in 2005 and reaching a management position in 3 years. Its because I’m a hard working person, and studied and learn everything I could about an aircraft and how it works. No one deserves credit for my success but me and God.

              Sams can do the same thing. Not because he’s gay, but because he a very good football player. And anyone who comes after Sams will only be successful because of themselves, not because of Sams.

              1. Patrick W.

                No one deserves credit for your success but you and god?

                Are you self taught? Did you build your own jet engines and then learn to tear them down and put them back together? Did you invent new wrenches and bolts and wiring and fuel lines? Did you write your own manuals? Did you, in fact, invent the airplane?

                Take pride in your success but don’t let pride blind you to the contributions others have had in your life. Don’t give credit for your hard work to anybody but yourself, but my goodness man, are you really so self-involved to think that Emory Malick did nothing for you? Or your first teacher, or third mentor, or SOMEBODY? It must be nice to be so good that you need nobody, ever.

                1. blublud

                  Yes those things and people were there, but I was the one reading the books, studying the manuals, asking the questions and anything else that went along with. No different from Same. He was the one working out, running sprints, getting in shape, studying schemes and learning the games. Yes other guys were there, but with his hard work, intelligence (at least related to football) and dedication, he is where he is. He deserves the credit for that.

                  1. Patrick W.

                    But somebody wrote those books and those manuals. Somebody answered your questions. Somebody trained Sam. Somebody taught him how to play football. Somebody was on his right side or his left and helped clear the way for some of his 11.5 sacks last season.

                    It’s prideful to say you deserve ALL the credit (with the exception of that you’re willing to give away to god). It’s hubris to give no credit to the people who came before you and who trained you and who stood over your shoulder and answered your questions. Yes, be proud of your achievements, but if you’re going to pick your own pocket to give away credit to a god, how about you pull a little bit more out in recognition of the help you’ve had along the way. Jesus.

                2. Brocktoon

                  I’m not surprised to see this viewpoint from entitled wasps, I can’t believe this though.

              2. Funn Dave

                If God existed, do you really think he would care how quickly you reached upper management? Did he pull some strings to get you there?

                1. Funn Dave

                  Actually, no need to respond to my above comment. It’s unnecessarily inflammatory.

                2. blublud

                  I believe God exist. That’s all that matters.

                  1. Darth Ivy

                    Everything you’ve written today has given me a lot of respect for you. I don’t remember if I’ve agreed with you about baseball matters, but I respect everything you’ve been writing today about non-baseball issues

              3. mak19

                Um. If there was not a first black aviator, you would not have been allowed to be an aviator. Get it?

                1. blublud

                  Um no, because if he wasn’t the first, then whose to say I, or any other black person, couldn’t have been the first. And if you knew the whole history, you would know that Malick didn’t do much for the black movement in Aviation.

                  1. Patrick W.

                    Right, Malick didn’t do much for the black movement in Aviation because, clearly, he didn’t have to. Everybody already accepted black aviators.

                    1. blublud

                      That’s not the point. How many black pilots did he bring along with him. 0. How many times did he fight for other black pilots. 0. How many other pilots did he help educate. 0. How much change did him getting a pilots license, which has never been “illegal” for blacks in this country in the history of it, lead to. 0. It was much later in the 20 century that blacks were accepted as pilots. Much later. So much so that he is very rarely mention when it comes to black pioneers in aviation.

                    2. Patrick W.

                      Why would there need to be black pioneers in aviation? Why do we need pioneers of any kind in any field? Everybody can just rely on themselves and god.

                    3. Brocktoon

                      How do you feel about Jackie Robinson Blu? I mean if not him, there was always somebody else right?

                    4. blublud

                      As I said yesterday, I wish Robinson was just another ball player. However, there were better players at the time than Robinson. He was hand chosen by Rickey. If it wasn’t Robinson, it would have been some else. If not Betsie Coleman, there would have been another black woman. If not Obama(Colin Powell would have beat Obama) there would be someone else.

          2. Brandon

            Why can you thank him, he hasn’t done shit yet but come out and say that he’s gay and he’s not even the first to do that. Kicker Alan Gendreau from Mid.Tennessee State came out publicaly before the draft a few years ago. People said the same about him then forgot about him. Give credit where it is due, not just to the next one to come out.

        2. Funn Dave

          You’re being ridiculous. Sure people shouldn’t care and people shouldn’t ask. But people do care and they would ask. Your comments only make sense in a fictional world where no one cares about sexual orientation. Maybe things will be that way 200 years from now, but it will take people like Michael Sam to make that happen.

          1. Brandon

            Who followed Alan Gendrea, that’s what I’m saying. Alan at least went on ESPN before the draft and explained why he came out before the draft. He is the real trailblazer here not Sams. Sorry have to give credit where it is due. Not discrediting or ripping on Sams here mostly people(media included) who want to jump on the next big story and not give credit to those who did it before.

            1. Funn Dave

              Totally different scenario. Gendreau was a middling kicker; he was never given very serious consideration for the NFL, especially after his discouraging last year of college. There have been plenty of openly gay college atheletes. Sam will be the first openly gay player to play in one of the four main American sports.

        3. roz

          Holy crap, you are entirely missing the point of him coming out.

    5. Hee Seop Chode

      “So if he is ridiculed, its no ones fault but his.”

      I’d argue its the fault of the individual doing the rediculing.

    6. ssckelley

      But I don’t think football is quite accepting yet, hopefully it will get to the point that you described where people can go about their lives without having to announce what your sexual preference is. Sam announcing that he is gay puts it out there, it gives teams the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to draft him. When a team does draft him then it will be their responsibility that he is treated equally along with the other players. It puts more accountability on everyone involved. There is enough stupid crap going on in the NFL that Sam does not need to worry about some 300 lb prejudice lineman finding out that he is gay.

      1. Funn Dave

        Very true.

  14. mak19

    2 points:

    1) Understanding Brett’s point about this occurring in baseball “soon.” I know what he means about an openly gay player. But, let’s acknowledge that there, with almost 100% certainty, been gay players in the MLB before. If anything, it really just gives me that much more respect about Sam’s courage.

    2) After reading a few comments yesterday and today, I find it laughable when religious (or non religious, but let’s be honest, how many non-religious folks against legalizing gay marriage) claim that they’re being persecuted for their views. Oh really, it must really suck for someone to judge you for your beliefs. Fortunately for you, every single American institution and meaningful right still applies to you. You’re welcome.

    On the other hand, 100,000′s of people who you disagree with have some very fundamental rights withheld. Quit whining about being persecuted. And for Christ’s sake (get it?), stop pretending that your view isn’t primarily responsible for so many human rights abuses.

    1. Isaac

      See, this is the kind of thing that invalidates the “Christian’s (or insert other religion) aren’t persecuted, but gay’s are” argument.

      Last I checked, using the term “gay” as slang was considered highly offensive and inappropriate in every setting; so much so that I worked very hard to strike it from my vernacular as an adult (it was completely common to say fifteen years ago as a kid). In direct relation, using “for Christ’s sake” in a derogatory sense (which it nearly always is) is acceptable and *not* considered offensive, even though it directly offends a huge percentage of people. This is a double-standard. This is the very reason why I started this debate yesterday.

      1. Matt

        This is what makes me thing that people don’t really understand what persecution really is. Having people be mean when arguing is not being persecuted. Being persecuted is losing your job for your beliefs or who you are. Sure, on rare occasion you can dig up an occasion when someone has something that causes real hardship happen to them based on their beliefs, but it doesn’t take a lot of searching to find examples to find gay people who were actually persecuted for being who they are. You just look back over the last 20 years with Matthew Shepherd and countless others who were severely bullied, not just on the internet, but actually in real life, some to the point of completely losing their will to live. There’s the gay people who lost their jobs or had lost money in other ways (tips could be one example) because they were “gay enough” for people to be able to tell. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s lifestyle, but to treat them like less of a person because of that lifestyle (and who they are) is unacceptable. Just being rude is one thing, but it’s not persecuting anyone. Persecuting is when actual damage is caused.

        1. Isaac

          Whoa, I definitely agree that persecution comes in many forms, but it’s been roundly agreed that name-calling and general oppression equals persecution.

          Further, I would wager that over history FAR more people have been killed for their religious beliefs (in a manner of persecution) than those that have been killed for their sexuality. It doesn’t take much research to find out that Christians were rounded up in Rome and fed to lions on a regular basis (why do you think they continually support their right to belief?).

          1. CubFan Paul

            “over history FAR more people have been killed for their religious beliefs (in a manner of persecution) than those that have been killed for their sexuality”

            The backtracking and downplaying on social equality knows no bounds (especially with this guy). Wow.

            1. Isaac

              No sir. If you can bring up hate crimes that have occurred (at any point) in the past, so can I. My point is, offensive is offensive. Just as I have been careful about striking hurtful words from my vernacular that were spoken ignorantly in my youth, those who also use deragotory language in reference to my beliefs/preferences should also be careful in selecting their words. If anything, this viewpoint stumps more purely for social equality than any alleged “pro-gay, anti-religion” stance there is.

              Everyone deserves to be treated with love. Mr. Paul, I sincerely hope if we ever meet, you cannot help but think “man, was Isaac respectful of me and my views, even though we disagreed”. When this love and respect ceases to exist in any fashion, we get persecution. We get the Coliseum. We get the tragedy of Mr. Shepherd. Sadly, I see much of this venom across this message board on both sides of the equation. Check yourselves, friends.

              Go Cubs.

              1. roz

                I fail to see any reason why anyone should respect the view that being gay/having sex with someone of the same sex is sinful and that gay people should not get equal rights under the law.

              2. mjhurdle

                well said Issac.

          2. YourResidentJag

            “Matthew Shepherd Was My Friend” comes out this yr as a documentary. You may want to consider watching….just a suggestion, of course.

          3. DocPeterWimsey

            This is true, but there are two very important factors here. One, it’s a sample size issue: when you wipe out as many Jews, Huguenots, Sunni, Catholics Hindus, etc. as you can, then you have a lot more people that you can kill than if you restrict yourself to just gays.

            Two, if you went in to kill the Huguenots (or the Jews or the Catholics or the Sunni or whomever), then you usually didn’t have to kill the gays: they usually had already done that for you.

            And that brings us back to the real issue: if you are gay, then during the vast majority of history, the probability of someone trying to kill you because of who you are is much, much higher than it is if you belong to any particular religion.

            1. Isaac

              That could be true. Not sure the argument matters, anyway. Both have and will continue to face oppression and persecution. In neither case is it right.

            2. brainiac

              an impressive gestalt of persecution by the doc.

              let’s be serious here. no one is persecuting christians by saying that citizens deserve equal rights based upon their orientation.

              a lot of these posts are a classic case of bad sports arguments applied to significant issues in democratic participation. half of you bozos can’t hatch half a plan to run a baseball team, and if you can’t accept someone for who he/she is, you certainly shouldn’t think you can dictate public policy.

          4. Matt

            Isaac, I’m talking about today’s society. Historically, sure, but right now persecution for sexuality far outweighs persecution for religion. On top of that, many more people have been killed in the name of Christianity than have been killed in the name of homosexuality, so many more Christians have done the persecuting than homosexuals. Let’s not forget the Crusades or the horrors committed by Torquemada in the name of Christianity, a man who is right up there with people like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, and Countess Bathory in the horrible things he has done. However, like I said, in today’s society, which is what applies here, the persecution is much more common, and actually real persecution. I was raised Lutheran, and I never considered myself persecuted against because my Great Great Grandfather was so badly persecuted in Germany by the Catholics that he left there.

            Also, I’ve never heard of anyone claim that being called mean names is persecuting them. Persecution usually involves some sort of attempt to exterminate or drive away a group of people, not just say mean things to them.

            I do have to thank you for being civil here, I’ve noticed that a lot of people posting on this, on both sides of the issue, have not been able to do so.

            1. Isaac

              All valid points. As mentioned above, not sure it matters which is currently persecuted more heavily, both are equally wrong.

              I also thank you for your insight and civility. These kinds of issues will only ever be aided by people who can resist allowing their tempers and vulgarity to get the best of them.

              1. Matt

                Exactly, the boys are separated from the men by who can debate an issue without resorting to name calling or other personal attacks. That is how progress on issues is brought to a complete halt. Too bad all of our politicians in this country are boys.

    2. josh ruiter

      pertaining to your religious persecution, specifically against Christianity, it is very real in our culture. While gay is accepted as a choice and accepted in the work place and/or in schools across our country, Christianity is not. My father, who is a director of management/sales at HP was recently threatened to be fired if he didn’t take his bible out of view in his office. What freedom of religion is that? He never pressed anyone with it, but he believes it, and he outright was denied the freedom to practice his belief at work. Secondly in schools, specifically in MD where I am, but presumably nation wide, my students get threatened with detention and losing their bibles if they are seen in school, but muslims are aloud to wear head dress and pray, Jews/Hindus are allowed to hold their dietary restrictions, and even in an environment where hats are not allowed, “pastafarianism” (a sort of extreme atheistic belief system) kids are allowed to wear the religious pasta strainer on their head at school. What we have is an attack on Christianity. Turns out, my religious belief system, Christianity, says homosexuality is wrong and I can’t be okay with it, so I will not be. I am also called to love all people where they are at, love the sinner hate the sin, because we are all sinners. So I condemn homosexuality, but I deeply love homosexuals. Some fight the urge of homosexuality all their life, those people have a blessed eternity coming, some people live a life of open sin in homosexuality and see no wrong it, the same doesn’t stand for them. Sorry, but if we are going to discuss equality and freedom, I do feel as though that should span the entirety of the argument. If kids can wear head dress and pasta strainers, kids should be able to have their bible with them. This is a baseball blog site, not a religious or social issue blog, so I will not respond beyond this, but people need to open their eyes and either preach and teach true equality or come to open their eyes and see that: life isn’t fair and isn’t promised to be, this life isn’t the end for us, and for everyone that complains about someone with religion being judgmental against homosexuality – remember that homosexuality offends their religious beliefs as well. It’s a two way street. Either everyone is their own being with the right to their ideals/beliefs, or everyone is equal but you honestly can’t have both. Love people but not sin is what I believe, b/c I know Christ conquers sin if we believe in Him, and Christ also loves people.

      1. roz

        You know, there’s a whole lot in this comment that I want to respond to but I’ll keep this short.

        You cannot possibly claim to love someone while simultaneously condemning a part of who they are as a human being. You cannot tell someone that you love them and that they will have a blessed eternity, if all they do is suppress a part of themselves that is innate and not chosen, a part of themselves that if God exists, God indeed gave them. You cannot tell someone that God loves them just enough that if they don’t suppress who they are, they will burn for eternity.

        I’m not a religious person. I find religion incredibly strange and nonsensical. However, I tend to follow Thomas Jefferson on this issue: “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” I don’t mind religious people if they’re not hurting anyone. I recognize the good things that religious people can do. But you’re breaking legs and picking pockets when you condemn others for being who they are. I just wish you could see that.

        1. aaronb

          I agree with this sentiment.

          To say nothing of all the other “Sins” that are spoken about in the bible. I never understand why the gay thing is eternal damnation. Yet other equal sins like premarital sex and coveting a neighbors possessions are largely ignored.

          Reeks of situational ethics and morality.

          1. AB1980

            It’s no suprise, the modern version of the bible most people have in their home/churches has been translated over several times, which includes things like the removal of God’s actual name that was written in original texts. Bigger questions of morality are more complex than the plain vanilla right/wrong litmus test people are indoctrinated with.

      2. Brocktoon

        I don’t believe for a second there are kids wearing pasta strainers on their heads at school.

      3. spearman

        Love the sinner, not the sin!
        We have a lot of people judging others and also being judged right now. You can’t have freedom of religion and yet have others simply talk down to you just because you said, I believe homosexuality is a sin. That’s you’re(my) belief, one should not be persecuted for that belief. Now, if someone is slandering another for their sin. That’s not right in and of itself. The whole act or sin should be between the sinner and the Lord. He’s the ultimate judge and jury as far as I’m concerned. However, this is a discussion about homosexuality in baseball. Will I not cheer for the Cubs or any other team that I like( football or basketball) just because they have a ballplayer with a different sexual preference? NO, I will cheer the same. The sexual preference will not change my reflection of how I feel about that team.
        Now hopefully we can get back to some good baseball talk.

  15. Johnny Chess

    I think comparisons to Jackie Robinson are a farce. When Robinson walked into a locker room everyone knew he was black. On the other hand nobody would know you were gay unless you announced it to the world. And since when is it a belief to be gay? It was and is a preference nothing more. People are just as uncomfortable with public displays of affection whether they are gay or not. When it is a bit much “Get a room”.

    1. Jon

      facepalm

    2. GoCubsGo

      *sees someone saying being gay is a preference*

      Not sure you want to have an opinion on something you clearly know nothing about, yikes.

      *peaces out*

      1. Johnny Chess

        The issue is a locker room’s reaction to a Gay person. The Gay rights issue’s are another thing altogether. One has nothing to do with the other. It is the perception of those in a locker room that is the issue. You can’t change a person’s perception.

        1. Funn Dave

          Well he was already in a lockerroom and his teammates perception of him was a non-issue, so….

      2. Matt

        It’s a preference, it’s not a choice, but homosexuality is indeed a preference.

    3. Brocktoon

      I too am sick of Michael Sam making out with dudes in public. So icky

    4. Darth Ivy

      Since when has “sexual preference” become a bad term?

  16. Blackhawks1963

    I am sure there are any number of gay professional baseball, football and basketball players. Who really cares. Answer is nobody other than media mouthpieces making a mountain out of a mole hill. And I say this as a conservative.

    I am sure the Cubs have had gay ballplayers on their roster over the years. So too has every club. Does it matter? If a player came out and publicly announced he was gay, would it change your perception of him as a baseball player? My answer is no. I think for most Americans the answer would be no.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      The obvious answer to that is young gay people care. Like always identifies with like, after all. Moreover, that turns a “they/them” into a “we/us” for those people that were excluded.

      Recently, Joss Whedon was asked why he always wrote such strong female characters. His response: because you are still asking people why they do it. When it stops being exceptional, then it will cease to be an issue.

  17. Brocktoon

    So the new safe play seems to be “it’s all the medias fault”

  18. Greenroom

    Sams coming out is a big deal for people from the LBGTQ community. Young people need role models just like any other group of people. him coming out, possibly gives others the feeling that they will not be marginalized for their sexuality, etc. For those of you saying it is no big deal, you truly lack understanding for the LBGTQ community. If we are going to change public perception of what people of various sexual orientation can accomplish, this is a big step in that direction, whether “you” believe so or not.

    Bottom line: Not being allowed to be married and all the civil rights afforded continues their standing as less than full citizens. Sams coming out is important in changing attitudes and stereotypes for people within this community. By not allowing people to be legally married from this community, they lose out on 1,138 civil rights. I have never seen anything in the constitution that says your sexual orientation has anything to do with you being defined a citizen or not.

    http://www.marriageequality.org/1-138-federal-rights

    1. mak19

      Exactly. It’s a big deal because it will be less of a big deal for the next athlete who comes out. And so on until it really isn’t a big deal.

  19. CubsFaninMS

    ALRIGHT! WE’RE ALL MEETING IN CHICAGO AFTER A SAMARDZIJA GAME FOR A BEER! It’s mandatory. Brett, please arrange this somehow. I am endowed by my Creator with the unalienable right to be sick of the homosexuality/religion discussion. Can I get an Amen? And if you’re atheist.. a Hell Yeah!?

    1. Brocktoon

      So we’re gonna watch the Mariners game from Bernie’s then?

  20. EQ76

    Just a thought, but, If gay marriage is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of sexual freedom? Better yet, where does the line stop? How far is too far? What can become deemed as the dividing line between acceptable and wrong?

    This may sound like a crazy statement, but it’s already popping up in other countries that have legalized gay marriage.

    1. CubsFaninMS

      I believe the primary difference with pedophilia and beastiality are that both acts are done towards a “being” that is generally not mature enough to make adult/human decisions (i.e. participating in a sexual act).

      1. Voice of Reason

        So, what does that say about priests who touch and fondle young boys?

        And, do priests who molest young boys get to go to heaven after they say so many “Hail Mary’s”?

        1. Funn Dave

          What do you mean? They’re doing it to people that aren’t old enough to consent, so it’s obviously wrong–which is what MS was saying.

        2. CubsFaninMS

          It APPEARS as if you’re comment is an attempt to expose my religious hypocrisy by introducing a religious leader into the equation (hopefully I’m wrong). Obviously pedophilia is a despicable act that should be punished for anyone who offends, but most certainly someone who is looked up to as a moral leader.

    2. Patrick W.

      Fun with arbitrary starting points: If we make Marriage legal, gay people will want to get married.

    3. bbmoney

      Laws in this country are setup, and should be setup, to protect people from harm and protect property rights (which allows an economy to function). For most of those items you mention laws are in place to protect folks from physical harm (children who can’t consent and in the case of family members protecting any unborn children from defects, etc.) and to protect property rights (animals…unless their your animals, but really that also kind of falls under the first point).

      Laws aren’t in place to prevent consenting adults from getting married and engaging in sexual activities with each other just because it’s against some folks religious beliefs. A theocracy we ain’t.

    4. Jon

      Wow, comparing gays to pedophiles. Fucking idiot.

      1. EQ76

        Back atcha idiot. wasn’t comparing, you’re the f-ing idiot.

        1. Funn Dave

          Numerous reasonable people have confirmed that you did, in fact, compare them.

          1. EQ76

            Yep, because over the internet, behind a computer, you guys can tell what I’m thinking, my voice influxion,emotions and know exactly how I believe on everything.

            I’ve restated what I was really trying to ask several times and nobody seems to want to back off of the bashing to hear it. You guys are showing ignorance in not hearing my true question. Apparently nobody out there is smart enough to understand my point. It’s much easier to assume and cuss at me than to hear what I’m saying.

            1. Jon

              The slippery slope argument of “Gay-Marriage leads to bestiality” has been around forever mostly parroted by ignorant fundamentalist Christians. You’re not breaking new ground here with this argument, it’s just as dumb every time it gets repeated.

            2. Funn Dave

              I don’t need to know what you’re thinking to know what you said. It’s right here on my computer screen.

    5. Porkslap

      “If gay marriage is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of sexual freedom?”

      - Consenting adulthood

      1. Noah_I

        DINGDINGDINGDINGDING! We have a winner!

  21. Brocktoon

    And then a man will want to marry his horse!!!!

    1. CubsFaninMS

      Wilbur!!

  22. TSB

    Hate to rain on anybody’s rainbow parade, but does anybody think that in 2014 a baseball executive would actually admit in public that homosexuals don’t belong on a baseball team? For what ever reason, be it misguided concern for team solidarity or personal bias, it would mean a near automatic firing. Also, does anyone think that any of these baseball execs haven’t heard a derisive ” guy walks into a gay bar” joke and hasn’t laughed? PR is one thing, but let us see what happens when it’s time to act.

    1. Funn Dave

      I’ve never heard a “guy walks into a gay bar” joke, much less laughed at one. If an executive didn’t approve of a Michael Sam scenario, he would have declined to comment. I 100% believe Theo when he says that sexual orientation would not sway his decisionmaking one way or the other.

    2. Funn Dave

      And rainbow parade? C’mon. Comments like your are why it’s so hard to have an intelligent, inoffensive discussion about sensitive topics on the internet.

      1. TSB

        Sorry Funny Dave, I forgot this was the Oxford Union Debate site.

  23. ChrisFChi

    Judge the man by his actions, not his beliefs. He’s gay, who cares? Bless him. When did being gay become such earth shattering news? There are thousands in Chicago alone that are gay, and yet you don’t see news articles being written about them. This whole thing to me is non-news. If he makes it in the NFL good for him. If not, I hope he has a backup plan. Who he sleeps with should have absolutely no bearing on his skill as a football player. He’s projected to be drafted in the mid rounds, and something tells me that this public announcement was done to get his name out there, nothing more

    1. YourResidentJag

      Yes. Exactly. Since when did being gay become part of one’s performance evaluation?

      1. ChrisFChi

        My point exactly. I have an employee, on their first day introduced himself and told everyone he’s gay. We all responded basically “whatever”. I wish I had 10 of him, hardest damn worker I’ve ever seen. Cool dude too, even thou he’s a dolphins fan.(I mean, come on the dolphins?)

    2. Funn Dave

      To get his name out there? The people that might potentially draft him already knew his name. There are a million reasons for him to come out that all make more sense than your paranoid, baseless accusation.

      1. ChrisFChi

        I didn’t accused anything, nor am I paranoid, that alone is a baseless accusation as you don’t know me at all. My point, thou it may not have been clear, is I feel like he scored some PR points and nothing more.

        FD, next time instead of immediately classifying me in the foil hat club, just ask me to be clearer. Have a nice day

        1. Funn Dave

          Idk…ignoring the obvious reasons for Sam to come out in favor of inventing your own seems a little baseless and paranoid to me….Kinda like when people ignore the obvious explanations for the Kennedy assassination or 9/11 in favor of making up their own, far less plausible ones….

          But I didn’t mean to paint you as a paranoid person who makes baseless assumptions. Just that you made one point that struck me as paranoid and was based on no evidence….But you absolutely did “accused” him of making “this public announcement…to get his name out there, nothing more.”

          1. ChrisFChi

            This is the last I will speak on this, any hopefully my statement will become clearer. Not once in my comment did I say specifically “He only did this for PR”. That is an accusation.

            “something tells me that this public announcement was done to get his name out there, nothing more” is an opinion.

            This is the reason I personally don’t comment here much. I have an opinion on a subject that Brett wrote about, and immediately get labeled as some sorta conspiracy theorist. Apparently having opinions is a taboo thing now, only facts can be stated.

            Again, Have a nice day

    3. half_full_beer_mug

      My understanding is that we was being questioned about his “preference” in a round about way. I’ve heard rumors in other circles (live in SEC country) prior to his announcement.

      It could be that he just wanted to ‘clear the air” once and for all and just let things happen as they will.

      I think it was probably the best for him. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to try to live a private life and a completely different public life.

      As far as the whole marriage thing goes; I find it laughable when people use religion to define the LEGAL definition of marriage in a country that is supposed to have freedom of and FROM religion. I’m 100% for legal unions of all consenting adults; if the church doesn’t want to marry them fine, but there shouldn’t be any law that prevents the Justice of the Peace from doing so.

      1. ChrisFChi

        That’s an excellent point. If that’s the case, I agree. Good to get it out of the way and turn focus back to the sport.

  24. Jon

    I don’t think this subject can be discussed on this site anymore. I mean, when you start comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, that is about as insulting and offensive as it gets. Might as well start dropping some ‘N’ bombs. There is clearly a user base here that is extremely intolerant and narrow minded.

    1. CubsFaninMS

      I believe there’s a difference between “comparing” and saying “representing this may lead to that”. It’s not cause-and-effect per se, but it’s certainly not positing that the person conveying the point of view believes they are the equivalent. I don’t buy the whole “legalizing gay marriage may lead to legalizing bestiality” argument either, but I do think the distinguishment does need to be made.

      1. Jon

        It’s insulting and disingenuous as fuck. If whoever can’t see that, I don’t know what to say.

        1. CubsFaninMS

          Fundamentally, I believe making statements such as these for political reasoning can, depending on the circumstances, be a validated point. When discussing social and moral situations, though, I agree that it is a bit crude to position an argument regarding a particular act/lifestyle/choice/characteristic so that it is mentioned with other acts/lifestyles/choices/characeteristics that are clearly of a different moral magnitude.

          - Joestradamus

      2. Brocktoon

        Yes I’m sure he was just worried about courts being too busy hearing these trials that would never happen. He certainly wasn’t passive aggressively equating the 2

  25. Funn Dave

    Brett, did you delete the comment in which I questioned someone’s grasp on the English language? If so, thank you; I was about to apologize for it.

  26. Porkslap

    I understand this is a needed step, but I look forward to the day when sexual orientation is no longer newsworthy. It baffles why some people care so much about something that has zero consequence to them.

  27. woody

    Myself I have seen this thing evolve over the 62 years I have been around. I am a Viet Nam veteran and have seen the whole gay thing play out in the military and now the marriage question and their place in sports and society. I can tell you that an openly gay man wouldn’t have survived in our platoon. But my thinking has evolved since then and life goes on. Personally I find the behavior of fundamentalist Christians more offensive to my beliefs than any gay of lesbian person. But on the other hand I have noticed that many lesbians in particular seem to be rather militant. I was a chef during my working years and as you may guess there is a higher than average percentage of gays in that proffesion. Never had a problem with any of them and some of their stories and comments really cracked me up. But I am always reminded of the Sen. Larry Craig types that lurk in mens rooms and do the foot tap thing. The train station in Chicago was so bad that I couldn’t let my son use the restroom by himself. That type to me is just discusting. But especially with older people in todays society I think it is important for gay people to be respectful and not flaunt their status as act of defiance, but rather to live a good life and set an example of responsibility. Regretably here in the Michiana area we have many of our nicest parks that are not usable because of all the male homosexual activity. My mother and her friend once went to one park in particular and wittnessed two men having sex on picknik table. I can think of 3 parks in this area that are not fit for the public to use. This is not an exageration on my part. If you doubt it then come and see. So I say for my part that there is a responsibility that goes with being a gay male in particular. Because the foot tappers and guys that want to follow me to the urinal make me sick.

    1. Funn Dave

      That’s a whole lotta stereotyping in one paragraph. You don’t think straight people have sex in public, propose sex to strangers, etc?

    2. Brocktoon

      I live in Chicago and have never had a gay man proposition me in a bathroom, nor have I witnessed public homosexual sex. I have had the flip side though – had a woman drag me into a bathroom in Wrigleyville, and witnessed a man and woman having sex in a bush, at Notre Dame funnily enough.

      1. Brocktoon

        It just seems to play into this ridiculous notion that gay people are sex craved monsters that can’t help themselves, be it in a locker room or in a public place with a person they find attractive.

        I’ve had a gay man approach me in a bar on a couple occassions, I told him no thanks, I’m straight, and he went along his way. They’re normal people who just happen to like something different than you in the bedroom.

    3. Ian Afterbirth

      Gee, I’ve been to the bathroom at Union Station a few times (and spent a lot of time in NYC’s West Village and Chelsea) and have never seen anything like the things you describe.

      In fact I worked in nightclubs in NYC for years and the only inappropriately open displays of sexual activity were heterosexual,

      Some of you (thank goodness, the minority) just have me shaking my head in disbelief at the seemingly willful ignorance of what the gay community is like in “real life.”

      I’m sorry eq46 got so dumped on (on a personal level), but geese, you guys seem to be blind to how ignorant and offensive what you are saying is.

  28. Funn Dave

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10435697/san-diego-chargers-great-fit-michael-sam-agent-says

    Some great points here. Everyone expected Te’o to be a huge distraction and media circus, and what happened? It all blew over.

  29. Brandon

    All this for a guy who will only be a situational 3rd down/special teams player at best and that is if he even gets drafted.

    1. Funn Dave

      Hmmm….SEC defensive player of the year….Projected by most analysts to be a mod-round pick….

    2. Ian Afterbirth

      No – all this because gays have been forced for decades to keep their mouths shut.

      1. Ian Afterbirth

        Millennia, actually, but I was referring specifically to American pro sports leagues.

  30. Brandon

    Anybody read the article with Sams dad? He didn’t know and hes not happy about it. Some quotes”my grandchildren aren’t growing up around that”, “Deacon Jones is rolling over in his grave”,”I’m old school and a man should be with a woman”.
    He texted his dad that he was gay right before coming out to the world.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.