Good conversation on the Rubin Report about Tony Dungy and Michael Sam. I think Dungy really showed how close-minded he is. His unwillingness, as the first African-American NFL coach, to see how important Sam is to diversity in the game, is rather stunning.
Anyhow, watch. Rubin always has something interesting to say.
You know I don’t “do” football, but if you live in Washington long enough (and I did) you start to absorb Redskins knowledge by osmosis. Jerry Smith was one of those Redskins who achieved a mythic quality among a certain generation of fans. And he was gay.
Tight end Jerry Smith during his playing days with the Washington Redskins. |Image: Outsports.
And he couldn’t admit it.
It’s astonishing — I just wrote a post about a same-sex proposal on mainstream Days of our Lives — and here’s a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have to go. Pro football has given us many strong equality advocates recently, people like Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo, but we still don’t have an out player in the NFL. Soon, I hope.
Anyhow, this looks like a terrific documentary. Reporting from Outsports below.
Members of the media have long been the biggest deterrent to gay athletes coming out. Attitudes in the NFL shifted years ago, and even where they haven’t, players will accept a productive gay teammate whether they realize it or not.
Yet the mainstream media continues to pound the drum of NFL intolerance. A common theme I heard from “experts” in the last two weeks mentioned how Jason Collins’ coming out was lovely, but we all know how hard it really will be for an out NFL player in the locker room. On this issue, the mainstream media has showed a dereliction of duty for a decade. This is simply the latest example.
While we are still waiting for the gay pioneer in professional football, I can tell you that I already admire his bravery and selflessness — he will be trading peace and the ability to “fit in” for added pressure and intense scrutiny. All I can offer is my support, and hopefully he will feel emboldened knowing that he will have earned a permanent place in American sports and civil rights history.
Former NFL cornerback Dononique Foxworth retired from the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. He is now president of the NFL Players Association and an outspoken advocate for LGBT acceptance in professional sports. Photo: Keith Allison|Wikimedia Commons