As much as Sam’s being drafted onto the St. Louis Rams made headlines, the headlines themselves made headlines — as sports figures, sports fans and LGBT proponents and opponents sought to analyze how the coverage of the historic moment was, or was not, appropriate.
Congrats for Sam abounded. But so too did backlash of ESPN’s video coverage of Sam kissing his boyfriend upon hearing the draft news. Cries of “but the children!” and “I don’t want to see that!” lit up the Internet, many of which were cautioned with “I don’t care if he’s gay” or “I have gay friends but ... ” The general consensus of critics was that America wasn’t ready to see two men kissing — even if those people contend they have nothing against gays. Well, guess what ... gay men kiss other men. Just like straight men kiss women ... and the sun rises and babies cry and dogs bark — it’s inherent to the definition of that entity.
Relying on the notion that people shouldn’t be subject to watching same-sex couples be same-sex couples is a plea for LGBTs to remain in the closet to not aggravate their fellow citizens’ homophobia.
Thankfully, there are figures like Sam and countless others who have come before and who will come after who bravely refused to remain in that closet. Offended by a gay man kissing his partner? Too bad, don’t watch. Or watch and actually learn something.
As Sam supporters have said in the past few days. The NFL now has a gay player ... and the world has continued to exist.
So how do we deal with the lunacy being flung throughout the Interwebs? While some modicum of education may be able to be achieved through Internet comments sections, the likelihood is slim. It may be tempting to write a dissertation-style response to someone promoting hatred, or just idiocy, but continuing to engage may just devolve any potential progress. Not to mention, its effect on your blood pressure.
With a momentous marriage-equality ruling expected in Pennsylvania in the coming weeks, homophobia will surely be rearing its ugly head in online news coverage. Let’s ignore it. Better yet, let’s ignore it and go do something positive for our community to counter the negative.