Tolerance vs. Equality?


This post is more of something I have had on my mind as I reminisce over this period of “history” that seemed to be so important to our society. NFL player Michael Sam has been deemed a hero as the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL. He came onto national television and made a public announcement in the form of interviews letting the world know that he was homosexual.

Though we can applaud his high level of confidence and self-esteem, I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t another case of egotistic professional athleticism taking the form of a gender social issue to gain publicity, attention, and a title. I don’t doubt that any of the personal information that Michael Sam shared was false. However, it seems that an announcement of this kind goes against the big picture of the “social issue” that Sam seems to be “promoting”.

The general consensus in society seems to be that the goal is for homosexual individuals to be considered no different or non-average than heterosexual individuals. This is equality that we can all agree is not only necessary, but an American and human right. With this being said, it seems counter-productive to go on national television to share your sexual orientation in such a dramatic fashion and welcome the title of a hero or a “first” when no other player in the NFL, gay or not (we don’t know because they don’t feel the need to…) announces who they enjoy on the weekends or being in relationships with.

If equality is the big picture goal, why does personal information need to be shared when it is not the norm for the “average” sexual orientation that people are trying to make apply to everyone to share? This is not to say that people should not express themselves or smother who they are. However, I do not see naming someone a Hero or a historical “first” because of their decision to share information that nobody was asking for or spectating over as a step towards the big picture goal of equality.

I also may not know what I’m talking about.

One thought on “Tolerance vs. Equality?

  1. Hi there, avid sports fan here, the Michael Sam situation was very interesting, and it seems it wasn’t a big deal, until the media (ESPN) made it a deal. I do agree that it was counter productive to go on national TV to express your sexual orientation, which, in my opinion, was a little over the top. Also, for what its worth, and the whole media explosion over it, Sam was drafted by the Rams, then signed to the practice squad by the Dallas Cowboys, and later released.

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