Play it again, Sam

All this type of bullshit will end once enough gay football players come out, as Michael Sam bravely did, but until then…fuck you, Herm Edwards, you were a crappy coach and you’re an incoherent homophobe to boot:

In a disjointed interview on Sunday, former NFL head coach Herm Edwards compared Michael Sam’s sexual orientation to “off the field issues” and said the openly gay prospect will bring “baggage” to a locker room.

“When you go into the draft, look at it this way. Let’s say Michael Sams (sic) is not a gay player, but he’s a player that has some issues, off the field issues. The thing you talk about in the organization with the GM and obviously the owner is, can we handle this guy? Can we handle the media that’s going to come along with his situations?” Edwards, a former coach for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, said on ESPN.

Update. I heeded Comrade Jake‘s advice to watch the whole interview before judging and indeed it’s not as bad as the excerpts sounded. Edwards may also be drunk during the interview.

But you know…when they go on and on about the locker room as a “bonding place”, I’ve got to wonder about homophobia among a bunch of naked guys who want to spend a lot of time bonding with other naked guys.

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113 replies
  1. 1
    JasonF says:

    Note to Herm: when Richie Incognito reacts with more class than you, you’re doing it wrong.

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    All this type of bullshit will end once enough gay football players come out old bigots die off

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Have to give Herm credit for at least signing his name to the disgusting comments.

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    Just remember, the entire team that Sam played for knew he was gay, and not only dealt with it, but didn’t go around talking about it. Therefore, a bunch of college kids are more mature than NFL coaches and executives.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Totally OT, but more Noisemax hilarity:

    Herman Cain Blasts GOP’s All-White Presidents List

    Good grief, Herman WTF do you expect from these racist assholes?

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon:

    I’m sure Edwards thinks that Sam will be totally unable to control his wild gay libido in the locker room. Yet the Mizzou football team, made up of college kids, somehow managed to transcend Edwards’ notions based on fantasy.

    You’re absolutely right about the maturity levels. It’s very telling.

  8. 8

    …the openly gay prospect will bring “baggage” to a locker room.

    Yeah, what a distraction from the homicides, drug use, and exhorbitant lifestyles!

  9. 9
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The players will deal with it just fine, except for a hand full of loudmouthed homophobes, but the real push back is going to come from the coaches and front office types.. Thinking that a bunch of macho, middle aged, upper class, manliest of the manly men are going to accept an openly gay player is folly. Most coaches are going to sound like Edwards. Sam just cost himself a couple of million dollars of draft position, and the teams that are going to pass on him are going to kick themselves hard if he becomes a good player. In the end, that’s all that will matter. Who gives a flying fuck if he’s gay? Can he play?

  10. 10
    KG says:

    Eh, to a certain extent, he’s right. Whichever team drafts Sam is going to have additional media attention. Football coaches hate “distractions” and they’ll see that extra attention as a distraction. Now, if Sam can contribute to a team in a way that the team feels his contributions will outweigh the distraction, they’ll take him. It’s the same analysis that teams have run with respect to Tebow

    Also, it seems to be coaches and personnel people that are seeing this as an issue. Players that I’ve seen/heard have been pretty comfortable with it. So it’s probably a generational thing too

  11. 11
    Brian R. says:

    A good coach could handle the “distraction.”

    As a Chiefs fan, I can assure you Herm Edwards ain’t a good coach.

  12. 12
    Comrade Jake says:

    Did any of you actually watch the interview? Edwards didn’t actually say that Sam would bring baggage to the locker-room. He was making an analogy (inartfully, admittedly) to a situation in which a player does have baggage. He begins the sentence with “suppose Sam wasn’t a gay player but instead one who has some baggage off the field..” or something like that. He also said at the beginning of the interview that NFL players would handle it just like his college teammates would, which is to say – quite well.

    I think people may be jumping the gun slightly here. For what it’s worth, Edwards also seemed a little intoxicated.

  13. 13
    NonyNony says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Who gives a flying fuck if he’s gay? Can he play?

    After watching NFL team owners for decades, I have come to the conclusion that they DON’T actually think like that.

    Some of them might want to win, but most of them want to win on their own terms. And for many of them their own terms would mean that even if the gay guy was going to be the difference between winning and losing a championship, they’d choose to lose.

  14. 14
    Anoniminous says:

    glibertarianism assures us the owners and people working in the organization of football teams only make decisions to maximize their profit. Thus, Mr. Sam’s sexual orientation is a non-issue.

    All evidence to the contrary is doesn’t exist. It’s not happening.

    sticks fingers in ears LA! LA! LA! I can’t hear you!

  15. 15
    Ed in NJ says:

    I’m only reading the excerpt above, but I’m not sure what is disgusting about what Edwards said. It’s perhaps an insensitive way to characterize the situation, but he speaks the truth in today’s NFL and society. The team that drafts him will have to weigh the off-field issues associated with drafting him, the same as if they took a chance on Tim Tebow or some player with a history of suspensions, etc. I’m not (nor is Edwards) saying it’s fair or comparable, but anything that creates a distraction and attracts media attention is by definition an “off the field issue”.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    I hope he gets picked up by the Seahawks. We can use a few more good men to keep those 49er’s in their place…second in the NFC West.

    Also Pete Carroll is notorious as a “player’s coach”. Sam will fit right in.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    If Herman Cain figures his party shouldn’t have only white men running for President in 2016, maybe he should run too. I know many Balloon Juice commenters would be happy to see him in the race.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Jake: Honestly, I had trouble getting through the interview. Herm is not the most artful of wordsmith’s but I think the terms he used seemed inappropriate as analogy.

  19. 19
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    As long as Sam isn’t an outspoken liberal, he should do fine with Baltimore.

  20. 20
    slippytoad says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m sure Edwards thinks that Sam will be totally unable to control his wild gay libido in the locker room

    You’re close, but you have the actors reversed. Edwards is terrified he’ll suddenly have himself a gay hardon and everyone will see.

    Someone who always worries about a thing, like a homophobe worrying about buttsecks, is also always thinking about that thing. They have too be. You cannot speak a thought without it being in your mind.

    So, what does that tell us? Other than that our hypermachismo culture has once again defeated itself.

  21. 21
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Belafon:

    Therefore, a bunch of college kids are more mature less bigoted/reactionary/closeted than NFL coaches and executives.

    FIFY.

    They have no problem whatsoever with closeted players (leverage when it comes time to talk contracts and salaries, maybe?): it’s the out one that gives them the vapors.

    All I know is that I’ll have found a new favorite team the moment Sam gets drafted.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ed in NJ: “off the field issues” is pretty universal for criminal or behavior that deviates from societal norms.
    That is, drug use, domestic violence, etc.
    To equate an off the field issue in this sense means, IMO, there’s something wrong the team is helping the player work through.
    Tebow did not have “off the field issues” but did bring his own baggage/perceptions along with him. Not the same thing.

  23. 23
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Corner Stone: that’s fine, but what he didn’t say is that being gay means you have baggage.

  24. 24
    slippytoad says:

    @NonyNony:

    After watching NFL team owners for decades, I have come to the conclusion that they DON’T actually think like that.

    Some of them might want to win, but most of them want to win on their own terms.

    Let’s all pause and remember, with deep contempt, the tax-exempt status the NFL bribed themselves in 1966. I’m sure they don’t think rationally at all. There is zero accountability for these people anymore.

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’m kind of saddened that Michael Sam will never be able to sack Tim Tebow.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    As long as Sam isn’t an outspoken liberal, he should do fine with Baltimore.

    I’m disappointed you didn’t go with “flaming liberal” there.

  27. 27
    boatboy_srq says:

    @NonyNony: Does that explain the last Superbowl?

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hunter Gathers: More likely an “off the field issue”.

  29. 29
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Hunter Gathers: DITTO.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Jake: That’s pretty much exactly what he said.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    I see multiple Anonymous NFL Exec covered himself in glory on Sam’s statement. So brave of that guy to snipe at Sam, huh?

  32. 32
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Corner Stone: except he’s not equating them. He’s talking about other situations in which there’s a lot of media attention placed on a team.

  33. 33
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Corner Stone: see Doug’s update.

  34. 34
    The Dangerman says:

    @Belafon:

    Just remember, the entire team that Sam played for knew he was gay, and not only dealt with it, but didn’t go around talking about it.

    And, actually, therein lies a lesson; Sam could have announced in the draft combine interviews that he was gay and it would have remained a private matter between himself and the teams (just like his College team). Now, for better or worse, he’s a “circus” (and he sure as shit isn’t “Jackie Robinson” unless he’s been denied meals at restaurants, etc, because of his orientation).

  35. 35
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    He’s talking about other situations in which there’s a lot of media attention placed on a team for player’s dog-fighting, gambling problems, spousal abuse, alcohol/drug addictions, etc. Because that’s what “off the field issues” is codespeak for.

    FIFY.

  36. 36
    Jilli says:

    Bullshit Herm. There’s a lot of players drafted every year that have “baggage” of one form or another – and they survive and thrive in the nfl.

  37. 37
    danimal says:

    As a Charger fan, I watched the Manti Te’o follies unfold last year. Manti wasn’t a star player, but he progressed over the year overcoming early injuries to become a productive player. All the hubbub about fake girlfriends and whisper campaigns about his sexuality–absolutely not an issue.

    If Sam has the talent, his teammates and coaches are going to rally around him, as long as he shows character and integrity (which appears to be the case from the one interview I’ve seen). The team that selects him may be thankful for all the bigots and homophobes that pass him up for non-football reasons.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    that’s fine, but what he didn’t say is that being gay means you have baggage.

    Is it Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga?

    More seriously, I can kind of see what a coach’s/manager’s concern would be — you have a player coming in with a lot of pre-publicity and you may not want to deal with the bullshit that comes with that. Will you have sportswriters or bloggers speculating that you didn’t pick Sam out of homophobia when you didn’t need any additional defensemen right now? Etc. But, as others have said, it’s not that much different than any other player who comes with a media-friendly story (like Tebow) so it shouldn’t be that big a deal.

    And IMO it’s really smart of Sam to come out before the draft and undercut all of the speculation and rumors. It does generally seem that, if the person coming out treats it matter-of-factly, the press and tabloids don’t have much to run with, but if he’d delayed, there might have been a lot more BS around his “secret.”

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Jake: I saw his update, and I re-watched the interview.

  40. 40
    PaulW says:

    to be fair to Herm Edwards, he’s coming from a generation less accepting of gays in the public forum.

    however, he’s got to wake up to the fact that Sam’s age group – the incoming young players of today’s NFL – are more accepting of gays than any other generation, and that his homophobia doesn’t have any place in 2010s America.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    And, actually, therein lies a lesson; Sam could have announced in the draft combine interviews that he was gay and it would have remained a private matter between himself and the teams

    What is the lesson here?

  42. 42
    Comrade Jake says:

    @boatboy_srq: Look, if you watched the interview and got that impression, then fine. Reasonable people can disagree here. But I think if you’re willing to give Edwards the benefit of the doubt, it’s easy to see that he wasn’t being homophobic so much as giving a lousy answer.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Didn’t the Dolphins GM get in trouble last year for asking a draft prospect if his mother was a prostitute or some such thing? “Off-field” and “distraction” encompass A LOT of prying, personal bullshit. Edwards seems to be trying to classify sexual orientation along the lines of “smokes weed” or “hangs around with troublemakers” or “has pretend Internet girlfriend.”

    ETA: Should have reloaded before posting — many others got there before I did.

  44. 44

    The man was co-defensive player of the year in the SEC. He can play. He might be a bit of a tweener position wise in the NFL, but that he can play is all that matters.

  45. 45
    Petorado says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I get the feeling Sam’s draft stock may fall a bit, but that teams with a winning culture will take him as a steal somewhere later in the draft. Teams with a stronger culture are always willing to take on talented players that others look at as potential risks, just like Seattle did with Derrick Coleman.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    Herm Edwards, if I understand him (and it wasn’t easy), seems to be saying that whether Michael Sam belongs in any NFL team depends not just on his own conduct and playing performance, but on whether players, coaches and management can handle him being gay. Edwards compares Sam being gay with Sam “bringing baggage” into the locker room, as though it were up to Sam to ensure that other people could handle his sexuality.

    No; Sam’s only duty is to conduct himself as the normal person he is. How other people behave towards him is on them, not him. As already noted here, his university team has not made any issue of his sexuality. If in 2014 a professional team can’t do as well, that’s one sorry bunch of people.

  47. 47
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What is the lesson here?

    Basically, a private matter could have remained private (see Football team, Missouri).

    Actually, just as with Missouri, I suspect there are many “out” players in the NFL (i.e., the other players know it and just don’t care, just like the Tigers).

    ETA: In other words, there’s a difference in being out and having to call a press conference to be out (and, yes, I’m a bit pissed this morning about the Jackie Robinson comparisons, which is utterly ridiculous).

  48. 48
    danimal says:

    Also, too. Someone in the NFL is popping a champagne cork just about now. How else do you drive ratings for Days 2 and 3 of the NFL draft without intensive coverage of controversies like “which team has the stones to draft an openly gay player?”

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Basically, a private matter could have remained private (see Football team, Missouri).

    I obviously don’t make decisions for Mr. Sam, but why should he have considered the fact that he is gay to be any different than if he were married to his high school sweetheart, or any other factoid that would be included in the bio of a prospective NFL candidate?

    And to your ETA, I’m not sure of the value to us, but to Michael it was obviously quite important.
    Re: the Jackie Robinson stuff. I’m not really sure about any of that and don’t intend to comment either way.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m a bit pissed this morning about the Jackie Robinson comparisons, which is utterly ridiculous

    Why?

  51. 51
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Didn’t we already go through this with that other bloated, ridiculously expensive, over-macho organization? What was it called, again?

    Oh, yeah. The military.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s actually a useful frame — like you were saying earlier, “off-field issues” tends to mean stuff like rape accusations or pot or PEDs or hanging with a bad element (see Hernandez, Aaron), and it will be a step in the right direction for sexual orientation to stop being considered on the spectrum of “off-field issues” and more along the lines of human-interest stories, like “eats jellybeans before every game.”

  53. 53
    Poopyman says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Ummmm, kind of depends on the definition of “sack” you intended.

  54. 54
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And you still claim this is exactly what Edwards said, after re-watching the interview?

  55. 55
    RareSanity says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    There was nothing homophobic about Herm Edwards answer…he said the same stuff about Manti Teo (fake girlfriend guy) and Tim Tebow.

    Could he have worded it a bit differently? Sure.

    Could people also be interpreting what he did say more harshly then they should because of the subject matter? I think that is also true.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Michael Sam can’t help it if others make overblown comparisons between him and Jackie Robinson, and I wouldn’t blame that on him. But is he comparing himself to Robinson? He doesn’t seem that vain.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    ETA: In other words, there’s a difference in being out and having to call a press conference to be out

    You seem to be confusing being “out” as a private citizen and being “out” as a public figure. Like it or not, an NFL player is a public figure whose life is held up to scrutiny and, yes, a press conference or interview for a public figure to announce that they’re gay is not that unusual.

    People in Hollywood knew for years that Ellen DeGeneres was gay, but it was not public knowledge. Were you equally as pissed off when she made her announcement and was put on the cover of Time magazine?

  58. 58
    Comrade Jake says:

    @RareSanity: People also seem to be drawing the inference that Edwards said Sam couldn’t hack it in the NFL. I just don’t get that from the interview at all. A discussion about how this will impact his draft status is not the same as one talking about how he’ll manage as a player.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Edwards seems to be trying to classify sexual orientation along the lines of “smokes weed” or “hangs around with troublemakers” or “has pretend Internet girlfriend.”

    Which, in warped way, actually qualifies as progress in the acceptance war.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I suspect there are many “out” players in the NFL

    Not to belabor your comment, but I just realized what you said in this quote.
    The reason you and I “suspect” there are many “out” players, but don’t actually “know” of any is kind of a problem in itself, isn’t it?
    Human nature being human nature, some percentage of NFL players and alums are possibly gay. The reason we don’t know it during their career is because we’re telling them to stay in a type of closet.
    I don’t know, I’m not a LGBT advocate*, but I do believe strongly in equal rights and equality under the law. Seems kind of deflating to me that we’re telling people being gay is ok, and we accept that some of you may be gay, but let’s just keep it private, shall we?

    *ETA – meaning I do not pretend to speak for the community, just my personal feelings on equality which includes advocacy for equality for all.

  61. 61
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Petorado: A smart GM will take him early. Football is a business, and good PR is either good fortune or expensive. In this case, it’s cheap if you’re willing to put your biases aside. You won’t lose any fans, you’ll probably gain a few, and you’ll get a pile of free media. And if your players aren’t assholes they’ll come out better as well.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: Except that the NFL is on alert about “off-field issues” lately because of people like Michael Vick and Aaron Hernandez — they didn’t use to care much about the entourages and escapades and such, except when animals and people started dying.

  63. 63
    Gex says:

    @NonyNony: If the NFL actually cared if they can play and not anything else, Warren Moon’s yards would all be in the NFL. He wouldn’t have started his career as a QB in the CFL.

    What’s wrong with the statement is the fact that many teams have players that have off the field baggage and for the most part it DOESN’T create a media circus. For the most part the domestic violence, DUIs, etc. and it makes the news but it is rarely a media circus or distraction to a team.

  64. 64
    Mike E says:

    Gawd, I’d love for him to play linebacker for the Iggles, which, as anyone would guess, is not a gay-friendly sports market necessarily. Booo.

  65. 65
    RareSanity says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    NOBODY (including Herman Edwards) doubts whether or not he will be an impact player in the NFL. Hell, I’d love it if the Falcons drafted him, our pass rush sucked out loud last year.

    There just seems like there is a lot or word parsing, looking for some hidden meanings, when there aren’t any there. He’s just basically throwing out a bunch of boilerplate NFL pundit buzzwords.

    He might as well have said, he was looking for opportunities to combine synergies in order to shift the paradigm, and think out of the box.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    @Corner Stone:

    why should he have considered the fact that he is gay to be any different than if he were married to his high school sweetheart, or any other factoid that would be included in the bio of a prospective NFL candidate?

    Because a lot of other people do. And it takes the ones who are first at something, and second and third, to bring it into the mainstream.

    When I was a young girl, women in “traditionally male” workplaces — i.e., most of them — were rare, and the ones that did get their law degrees or MDs or did get elected as mayors or representatives or senators were basically pioneers. Nowadays, the GOP and its hangers-on notwithstanding, this is no longer anyone’s idea of a big deal. Years ago, however, it was. And if Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2016, her gender will once again be a big deal, because she’d be the first female president.

    Pioneers are always a big deal. Once they give way to the people who follow them, and more and more openly gay athletes compete in professional (and college) sports, the big-deal-ness will dissipate, and it will in fact no longer be different, in any sense of the term, from any other personal factoid.

  67. 67
    waspuppet says:

    Speaking of the Eagles, let’s talk Riley Fcking Cooper if we’re talking about “distractions.”

    Edwards’s remarks may or may not be homophobic; they’re definitely bullshit.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s o.k. that you eat Chinese food on Sundays, but don’t grow out your sidelocks and wear a beard and be all in your face about it.

  69. 69
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    … but don’t actually “know” of any is kind of a problem in itself, isn’t it?

    Why is it a problem? What does Sam’s method of getting off make an iota of difference to me? All I care is if he has a good 40, vertical, lateral, etc.

    I want a world where everyone is treated equally. I’m for gay marriage and all the rest. For better or worse (mostly worse, but some to the better; I think our Blog Master has said he wants his uniform to wear), Sam will now be treated differently. I don’t have a great answer on how we get to the world I would like but we will get there in time.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    I’ll look out for Rush to rave and ramble about the favoritism given to gay NFL players. Then I’ll know the fuss is over, and no one will be making big deal anymore over what should be a player’s personal business and a non-issue .

  71. 71
    NonyNony says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Does that explain the last Superbowl?

    I don’t know what explains the last Superbowl. Except perhaps there is actually a God and he hates the Denver Broncos as much as I have always hated the Denver Broncos.

    (Two teams in football I have never been able to stand – the Broncos and the Cowboys. Don’t know why – by all rights since I grew up in Cleveland I’m supposed to hate the Steelers but I never really have. My brother tells me that, since I’ve always been a fan of the Colts I should have been rooting for Peyton Manning’s team but meh. I would have liked to see Manning lead a team to a winning bowl, but not the hated Broncos. Who I despise with a white hot passion of a thousand fiery suns despite there being no logical reason for my hate. Football, right?)

  72. 72
    Mike E says:

    Let’s give credit where it’s due, how it’s supposed to be done.

  73. 73
    dmbeaster says:

    As if gay men and straight men cannot be friends without sexual overtones. It reminds me of the old trope about how men and women allegedly cannot be just friends. That always said more about the men with that inability that anything else, and its the same regarding gay NFL players. This must be something already existing and well known to countless players, without issue.

  74. 74
    Arachnae says:

    NFL players fear this will turn the locker room’s homoerotic subtext into… well, text.

  75. 75
    Gex says:

    I think it is worth pointing out that the attitude of “be gay but don’t make a point of being public about being gay” is kind of what Putin’s laws are all about. Whenever a coming out story gets discussed in the US, there are plenty of “allies” who are willing to tell gays to just STFU too. And it plays into the hands of people who want to marginalize us and teach others to hate us. Because it’s easier to hate gays when you don’t realize you actually like gays.

    In Bachmann’s district here in MN, a kid got death threats from his school mates for coming out. They’ll keep on making haters for as long as they can and everyone telling gays to be gay privately and not make a big deal about being publicly known as being gay play their part in that.

    The fact that this is going to be a circus is a problem that has been caused by the legacy of living in an anti-gay society. It is not caused by gay people finally starting to break free of that.

  76. 76
    Cacti says:

    O/T

    Per TPM, Eric Holder plans to step down sometime this year.

  77. 77
    Armadillo says:

    More from Mr. Waldman. Apparently young Mr. Sam has quite the sense of humor.

  78. 78
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Comrade Jake: It was indeed a lousy answer. Conflating LGBT players with players with personal issues (most of the questionably legal at best) isn’t particularly thoughtful, tolerant or otherwise helpful to the perception of the NFL. If Edwards were thinking at all, or if he thought that he needed to worry about anyone outside the Reichwing football fandom, he’d have found a better way to say that.

    Perhaps I’m being more sensitive to the issue than some here. But after five years of constant Teahadist whinging about LGBT folks being child predators, paedophiles, moochers wanting “special rights” and a host of other things, hearing those words wasn’t especially welcome.

    I’m assuming that you’re sufficiently unOther not to be sensitized to dogwhistle. To my ears, Edwards just threw Sam in the same player pool with Roethlisberger and Vick – and I for one do not appreciate that one bit.

  79. 79
    Belafon says:

    This article is about how Sam chose to come out. He was going to come out before the draft so that it would be taken into account, but snooping by various groups cause him to pus the date up even earlier.

    He didn’t feel it would be right to do it after the draft.

  80. 80
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Herman’s Nine-Nein-Nein plan.

    Am digging “Soros punched in face by ex-girlfriend” myself.

  81. 81
    slippytoad says:

    @jl:

    I’ll look out for Rush to rave and ramble about the favoritism given to gay NFL players. Then I’ll know the fuss is over, and no one will be making big deal anymore over what should be a player’s personal business and a non-issue .

    Oh, I’d do just about anything to be a caller, right after he says that. My first retort:

    “So, when will the NFL stop getting a free ride from the IRS?

    Speaking of favoritism, bitch.”

  82. 82
    MCA1 says:

    Edwards is not that bright, and not insightful as a radio/TV personality, so I’m much more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt here, because he’s never seemed like an asshole before when I’ve heard him. I think he just inartfully was saying “Look, this will draw a lot of media attention. And that will make teams think about whether they want that media attention.” I think he’s wrong, and that no one will give a shit for the most part, but what he said was essentially the CW for the last five years and not controversial. The Mant’i Teo analogy is right on – circus leading up to the draft and then no one said a damned thing about the fake girlfriend thereafter. Even if he was saying it was going to be harder to succeed on the field than for others, by needing to remove the distractions of media focus on him, it’s not like a million people haven’t been saying the same thing for years, based on the experiences of other pioneers and factoring in what they see as an immensely more intense media spotlight than in decades past. [Again, I think that CW is wrong, in that I’d trust anyone who made the decision Sam just did to be more than mature and prepared enough to deal with it]

    The real issue here is which of the institutions, those being NFL franchises, have properly prepared themselves for presenting a tolerant workplace, from the top down. Because unlike almost every other sort of workplace, they’ve never had to figure out how to have openly gay employees, and so they’ve never had annual mandatory sensitivity training for all employees, or issued public statements about their support of diversity, etc., etc. While I think whether the players themselves can deal with this is not that much of an issue in 2014, what with all Gen X’ers and Millenials in the locker room, it is an issue whether the front office, coaching staff and other employees are ready for it. If I were a GM, I’d be more concerned about Sam leaving the team after 4 years and revealing he was being harassed by an asshole coach, or that the sudden interposing of a gay man into the culture of my front office caused people to behave poorly out of bigotry, or that he got a bunch of hatemail from fans and the team wasn’t properly defending him and everyone got upset about it. I mean, let’s be honest – it’s 2014, but there are still pitfalls here. Even if you’re well-intentioned and open-armed, or even totally actuarial and think “Hey, we should draft this guy higherthan he might otherwise go because he’ll sell a lot of jerseys,” the media and others will be on a constant vigil looking for anything juicy. Every team out there has at least someone on the payroll who’s not down with this, or will, if asked, share their religious views on the issue and offend a ton of people, or will otherwise be cagey. Bam! Story = internal strife at X franchise; are X really ready for Michael Sam?” Have organizations prepared a top down company line on this that will be enforced? Chances are, teams have not been laying the foundation for this day, even if they knew it was coming, and they won’t have done so by draft day. What Edwards should have said is “It’s not his fault, but there may be a number of NFL franchises who are afraid to draft him not out of direct homophobia but out of fear that latent, hidden homophobia in their organizations will rear its head and they have not prepared their culture for it.”

  83. 83
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cacti: I wouldn’t want that job if you paid me.

  84. 84
    Comrade Jake says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    To my ears, Edwards just threw Sam in the same player pool with Roethlisberger and Vick – and I for one do not appreciate that one bit.

    I can absolutely appreciate how someone could read that into his answer, but I don’t see it personally. Perhaps if I were gay I’d feel differently – I’m certainly sympathetic to that argument.

    I just don’t think Edwards was trying to throw anyone under any kind of bus. When asked if an NFL coach should draft Sam, Edwards answered “Sure.” He also tried to discuss how NFL organizations would approach the situation and the media attention, and this is where he got way out in front of his skis.

  85. 85
    Paul in KY says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Tim is too.

  86. 86
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Arachnae:

    NFL players fear this will turn the locker room’s homoerotic subtext into… well, text.

    I’ve yet to hear any NFL players speak out negatively about this. Lots of concern from people who fetishize NFL players though.

  87. 87
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Why is it a problem? What does Sam’s method of getting off make an iota of difference to me? All I care is if he has a good 40, vertical, lateral, etc.

    If Mr. Sam had remained in the closet, the moment he is seen on a romantic date with another man, there would have been a problem.

    THAT is why he had to come out.

  88. 88
    Paul in KY says:

    The only thing I can think of that the Moaning Myrtles would be going in is that if Mr. Sam’s is sexually attracted to men, then when he’s in a locker room, that can be for him what it would be like for me if I was in the cheerleader’s locker room.

    No pr0no movie stuff (of course) or anything like that, just seeing things that might turn you on in another context and thus those other people being unknowingly objectified by the person who finds their gender attractive.

  89. 89
    Mart says:

    I feel better about my new home state football program. Neighbors tell me head coach Pinkle knocked up a co-ed; but other than that….

    In 2012 Mizzou got killed in their first SEC year. People thought it was a mistake to move to the conference as too tough (but lots of mulla). In 2013 with an openly gay teamate, they had one of their best season’s ever.

    The biggest disruption in the Mizzou locker room was their starting QB Franklin, not Sam. He is the son of an evangelical preacher (forget which cult but think it is a small one). Franklin refused pain killers as against his religion. People called him soft, etc. as he would not dope and play. (That makes him tough in my mind, no matter the reason.) Fans blamed Franklin for the lousy 2012 campaign, and lobbied for back-up Mauk in 2013.

    As for QB Franklin’s evangelical preaching dad Willie:

    “The love shines through father and son like a laser. Even the simplest things can produce a rollicking laugh. Get close to James and you get close to Willie. Not too close, because Willie is likely to kiss you pretty much anywhere skin is showing. Gender doesn’t matter, nor should it. Willie Franklin does this because the Bible says, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

    What is up with that? Don’t get too close, or Willie will holy kiss all your exposed skin, even if you are a man!

    If the Mizzou locker room can handle “the controversy”; any locker room can.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gex:

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a circus — because Sam was smart about the way he announced it, it’s going to be a nine days wonder (at best) and then everyone’s going to get back to talking about the draft picks the way they usually do.

    And we’ve probably come a long way already since it seems there’s only one person here who has any kind of a problem with Sam’s announcement. Everyone else seems to think it was the smart thing for him to do and a good sign for his future career (barring injury).

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paul in KY:

    No pr0no movie stuff (of course) or anything like that, just seeing things that might turn you on in another context and thus those other people being unknowingly objectified by the person who finds their gender attractive.

    Welcome to being a woman, where random guys feel free to check you out whenever and wherever they want. If guys don’t like it when it’s their turn to be objectified, they need to change their own behavior.

  92. 92
    hoodie says:

    @Comrade Jake: Though you’re somewhat correct, that interview is evidence as to why Edwards is no longer an NFL coach. He has a patronizing, anachronistic view of the millionaire adult professionals that form the core of the league. Sam was a top player on a very competitive team in a very tough league and has a skillset that is very likely useful in the NFL (Tebow didn’t). Anyone who would think that a guy like that can’t be part of a winning NFL locker room because he’s gay is mired in old cliches. The locker room bond is about respect and contributing, not towel snapping and tickle fights.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @NonyNony:
    I would consider being a Browns fan in the 1980s to be sufficient reason to dislike the Broncos. Losing the AFC Championship game 3 times in 4 years, losing it the way Cleveland lost it, and then watching the Broncos get destroyed in the Superbowl seems like plenty of reason to hate them.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE: Don’t you dare tell anyone I eat Chinese food on Sundays! That was my truth to keep private or call a press conference about, not yours!!

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Why is it a problem? What does Sam’s method of getting off make an iota of difference to me? All I care is if he has a good 40, vertical, lateral, etc.

    I don’t have a great answer on how we get to the world I would like but we will get there in time

    Indeed. In time, we will.

  96. 96

    But you know…when they go on and on about the locker room as a “bonding place”, I’ve got to wonder about homophobia among a bunch of naked guys who want to spend a lot of time bonding with other naked guys.

    For $10 a month at Manhunt.net he can find out about all sorts of bonding with other naked guys. Or so I’ve heard.

    I am really looking forward to the time when an NFL player says he’s gay and the reaction is “And…?”

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: Agreed. I guess those people need to deal with it (mentally) and not get skeeved out by it.

  98. 98
    Comrade Jake says:

    @hoodie:

    Anyone who would think that a guy like that can’t be part of a winning NFL locker room because he’s gay is mired in old cliches.

    I agree completely. But I see no evidence in the interview that Edwards believes that. Otherwise, one assumes that when asked if NFL teams should take a chance on Sam, Edwards would have answered with something other than “Sure!”

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gex:
    This, this, this. If LGBTs are more accepted in today’s society, it’s because so many people in so many walks of life have come out of the closet. Anything that encourages people to back off that, to come out only to their family and friends and keep it hidden from society at large is undermining the main thing that has made it OK to be out at all. As long as being out is a big deal anywhere, brave people need to keep making a big deal when they come out to prove that it shouldn’t be.

  100. 100
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Comrade Jake: I appreciate what you’re saying here. But homophobia doesn’t need to be deliberate, it just needs to be. I’m pretty sure Edwards had no overt, conscious malice – there was no bus to throw anyone under here – but his statements sounded full of the “some of my best friends are…” bigotry that the unReconstructed South was known for. It was like rehearing Paula Deen’s insisence that she wasn’t racist. You’ll notice that Edwards thought some NFL coach should draft Sams – but you didn’t hear him so much as hint that he would do it himself. You don’t have to want to kill/deport f#&&0ts to be a homophobe (in fact it’s a lot easier dealing with the ones that don’t feel they have to evict you from their environs), but you can’t ditch the label until you stop thinking about LGBT folks as somehow aberrant.

  101. 101
    Comrade Jake says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    You’ll notice that Edwards thought some NFL coach should draft Sams – but you didn’t hear him so much as hint that he would do it himself.

    Except he didn’t express any reservations at all. It’s not like he said “Well some coaches might not want this in their locker room, and that’s their prerogative.” About the only thing he said which got close to this is that there would probably be some players who wouldn’t be comfortable with a gay teammate. Is that homophobic? Given what I’ve heard about the NFL, I think it’s probably just an accurate characterization of the status quo.

  102. 102
    waspuppet says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    I am really looking forward to the time when an NFL player says he’s gay and the reaction is “And…?”

    If the NFL follows the rest of society, the day when a gay player won’t even bother coming out, because everyone knows, will come way before the day you’re describing.

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    Seriously? 100+ comments and no “tight end” jokes made?

  104. 104
    Ed in NJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Just because you say it’s universal doesn’t make it so.

    Baggage/off the field issues. Six of one, half a dozen of another. It is what it is. Edwards didn’t compare criminal behavior to homosexuality, but many here jumped on his accurate comments to push an agenda that anyone who comments on this and feels it will be difficult for Sam is a homophobe, and that is adjectly false.

    This situation is absolutely comparable to Tebow. Many teams refused to draft him and have refused to sign him because he brings baggage due to his off the field issues. Which is that he is a devout Christian in a locker room full of players, many of whom are uncomfortable with that. I can’t stand Tebow, because he is overrated, but he dealt with many of the same issues Sam will deal with, albeit for different reasons.

  105. 105
    hoodie says:

    @Comrade Jake: Yeah, he said that, and then proceeded to explain why he doubted it was true. He evidenced how he is mired in cliches about players, not gays, e.g., he spouted tired nonsense about locker room bonding requiring conformity to arbitrary, contradictory norms so that a player doesn’t become “a distraction.” The Richard Sherman kerfuffle is a good example of why that kind of argument is usually bullshit. It really sells the players short when, if this really is a problem, it’s more a problem of moronic owners and coaches (you know, guys like Herm Edwards). The vast majority of players are discerning enough to understand where Sherman was coming from, partially out of understanding of the intensity takes to play in the NFL and respect for his body of work and type of team mate he is. His team mates sure weren’t distracted (maybe Denver was).

  106. 106
    hoodie says:

    @Ed in NJ: You’re kidding, right? Tebow wasn’t drafted by most teams because he was neither fish nor fowl in an NFL style offense. He was a great college player at Florida, but that offense is not used in the NFL, for good reason. Quarterbacks are too expensive and you have to be able to hit guys that aren’t really open.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ed in NJ: So you just have no idea what you’re saying then, eh?
    Tebow went in the first fucking round! And no, his religion is not an “off the field issue”.
    Get a grip fool.

    Oh, and if you’re too stupid to know what “off the field issues” are – not my problem.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @hoodie: Tebow should have not been drafted until 4th round or later.
    The fact that he was selected in the 1st frackin round makes any comparison to his “baggage” vs “off the field issues” completely bunk.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    Tyrann Mathieu had “off the field issues”. Michael Sam, as best we know at this point, does not.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    I wonder if those who suggest Sam should keep it private know what they are consigning him to?
    In the events where all his teammates gather, for events, dinners, fund raisers, benefits, etc, he would not be able to bring his significant other if he had one. All his teammates could bring their wives or girlfriends if they chose but he could not.
    It’s asking him to be someone other than who he is, and to live a convenient lie for the benefit of those who do not want to see some gay ass press conference where he publicly comes out and makes his life “a circus”.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ed in NJ:

    Which is that he is a devout Christian in a locker room full of players, many of whom are uncomfortable with that.

    I’m giggling because you think African-Americans are uncomfortable with Christianity. What they were uncomfortable with was Tebow’s right-wing, attention-grasping Christian Dominionism.

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    I wondered how Michael Sam has been faring since I had been at the computer earlier today, so I googled “Michael Sam support” and link after link appeared. I think that’s a good sign.

    (Except for the cowardly prick NFL managers who supplied anonymous comments in some article this morning. They suck.)

  113. 113
    MattR says:

    Not sure if anyone has posted this series of tweets from former NFL receiver Donte’ Stallworth in support of Sam. His basic argument is that if a team cannot handle the “distraction” of drafting a gay player, that is probably a sign that they are not a good team that can successfully overcome the other unexpected hurdles that they will inevitably encounter during the course of a season.

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