Michael Sam may be the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, but he is also a shameless opportunist whose historic mission is off to a terrible start. In fact, it’s already fair to wonder if he is worthy of the huge challenge he faces.
Yes, I know. The words above are difficult to accept because Sam represents progress for a society finally opening itself up to all beliefs and every lifestyle. So many people are rooting for the St. Louis Rams linebacker that it’s hard to point out the harsh reality of his early missteps.
His first mistake was celebrating his seventh-round selection with a public display of affection so extreme, it alienated many of the people who were rooting for him. What was he hoping to prove by flaunting his affection for his boyfriend at that moment? At least he had a logical excuse that time – the elation of making history.
There was no logic at all to his decision to sign a deal with Oprah Winfrey for a documentary/reality show about his first weeks as an NFL player. By doing so without the approval of his new team, he placed his own interests above his teammates and his coaches. Sam even acknowledged that he had hidden the deal because he feared that it would discourage a team from drafting him.
Ultimately, the TV show was postponed because Oprah herself realized that it would hinder his quest. By then, however, the damage was done.
Michael Sam’s selfish and devious behavior should alert all of the people whose dreams are tied to him that he may not be the right person for this important assignment.