Sports Merit or Sexual Orientation???

On Wednesday evening at the  annual ESPYS ( sports ceremony) NFL Rookie Michael Sam received the Arthur Ashe "Courage Award." Michael Sam made headlines earlier this year during the Spring when he announced that he was an openly gay man, he made history as the first openly gay football player to be drafted to the NFL, he was selected by the Saint Louis Rams in the 7th round.

Who is Michael Sam? Michael Alan Sam Jr. is a native of Galveston, Texas he attended the University of Missouri, and played football for the Missouri Tigers football team. As a college football player  he accumulated 123 tackles, had 6 forced fumbles, 21 sacks, and 2 intercepted passes. He graduated from college in December 2013. He played in the Senior Bowl as he prepared to make the transition to the NFL he was considered too small to play defensive end, he has played as an outside linebacker.

Arthur Ashe Courage Award: The award is sports-oriented, although it is not limited to sports related people or actions.

I watched Michael Sam receive  the award online and he did deliver a emotional, yet inspiring speech. I looked on social media and saw a mixture of emotions from the American public. Some people supported Sam while others did not approve of him receiving the award.

Most Popular Quote From His Acceptance Speech: "Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself." Michael Sam

Toni's Thoughts: I have not endured ridicule for my sexual orientation because I am a heterosexual African American woman. Therefore I can respect the fact that Michael Sam was willing to  reveal his truth and be happy with his boyfriend Vito. I understand the support for him and I also understand why some people do not support him winning the award. Personally I do not believe it was time for him to receive the award because he has not had the opportunity to prove himself on field yet as an NFL player. Based on his collegiate his statistics he has potential to be a star in the NFL and I hope he does well this season. With that being said maybe Michael Sam has done extensive community service for empowering other young people that identify with his story if he has done that when the cameras are not around then he is courageous. On the other hand some people have argued the simple action of revealing he is gay is courageous.  Prior to Michael Sam making this announcement I had never heard of his college team or Michael and I'm an avid sports fan. What are your thoughts? Is his publicity based on sports merit or sexual orientation? Fill me in.


  1. Not being Bias towards my beliefs I am going to state a fair opinion. It is always the best decision to be who you truly are. When I watched the awards it seemed as if more attention was directed towards his sexual orientation versus his ability as a athlete. But the award is giving out because he was courageous. This young man was not given an award for courage with a athletic reason, it was courage from him being brave and coming out. There are a lot of straight men who watch sports and I believe this may be offensive towards them. Not saying that he should keep his sexual orientation a secret or that sports is only for straight men. But I don't believe his situation should have honored him with that award, because despite the fact he's an NFL player who had the courage to come out, his story is not gonna be touching or heart felt to all the heterosexual men who love their football. His story is not gonna reach or touch a lot of his audience. If anything people will just feel sorry for the guy. People may have respect for what he did but he's not the only person who's been gay and came out, made me feel sorry for him more than anything. So I believe it was all for his sexual orientation.

    1. Thanks for reading and yes I see what your point.


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