The neverending story of Michael Sam

State Hornet

The media coverage about Michael Sam and his sexual orientation seems to be never-ending. Since February, Sam has been speaking to the media about being a proud, openly gay man in the NFL.

We can agree it is a huge deal for a professional football player to come out of the closet since the NFL seems to have a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” attitude towards homosexuality. It is no surprise that Sam’s announcement sparked a buzz in the newsroom and across the Internet. However, after six months it most certainly feels like the story is getting old.

Michael Sam is gay. We get it.

By now, Sam has made his point that sexual orientation does not affect the way someone plays football. Sam’s hard work and dedication got him his place in the NFL before he decided to come out to the public.


Apparently the NFL has yet to get with the times. After being released from the St. Louis Rams, Sam has only been signed to play with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. This unfortunate circumstance only aids in perpetuating the media coverage on Sam.

ESPN has especially been dwelling on Sam since his revelation. Not only have they been writing excessively about his sexual orientation, but they have gone so far as to cover his showering habits.

This is not the first time that the media focused on the personal lives of athletes. The story of Manti Te’o, the football player who was “catfished”,  is a huge example of how easily reporters get caught up with anything but their athletic performance.

Not only did the Te’o story take over newsrooms, it flooded social media with hashtags, tweets and memes for months.

The media needs to move on from Sam. There are plenty of athletes in professional football with interesting stories that deserve some of the spotlight.

Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks is the first deaf offensive player in the NFL. Despite lacking his sense of hearing, Coleman is a starter for the Seahawks and was a part of the team when they won the Super Bowl last season.

Coleman has has been deaf since the age of three, and his hard work and dedication helped him to find his place in professional football like Sam.

Coleman’s media coverage did not match half of the attention Sam received for revealing his sexual orientation. Sam’s sexuality has been and continues to be exploited by the media as if it were a disability.

It is wonderful to see professional athletes stand up for themselves in public. Coming out of the closet is in no way a simple task, especially for someone who is in the public eye.

Sam came out of the closet and months later he is still out of the closet.

By now we can all agree, it is time to move on.