DRAFT OF FIRST GAY PLAYER PROVOKES HATE—EVEN FROM THE ROOT READERS
The News: The National Football League’s first openly gay player has drawn a wide range of reactions, from the admiration of President Barack Obama to the disgust of at least one other player.
On Sunday Obama congratulated University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam on his selection by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of the NFL draft on Saturday.
The Dolphins disciplined Jones on Sunday, fining him an undisclosed sum and banning him from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training. Jones apologized for his remarks in a statement issued by the team.
The Take: Well, that didn’t take long. Obviously, three months of nonstop news that Sam would make sports history wasn’t sufficient notice for homophobes to prepare themselves.
Was the National Basketball Association ready for an HIV-infected Magic Johnson? Was Major League Baseball ready for Jackie Robinson? Necessary change rarely occurs when an institution is ready.
A sampling of comments at the end of a recent story in The Root reveals that some of our readers weren’t ready, or supportive, either.
A reader named Boondocks1935 wrote, “The president congratulating a man for being openly gay makes about as much sense as the Pope making saints out of pedophile priests.”
Tyronewashington wrote, “I just don’t see this working out…..they need to give him a separate shower stall.”