What does orientation have to do with it?


Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, was cut from the St. Louis Rams last month. “Why?” is this question everyone is asking. Sam’s performance on the field was up to par, leading many to speculate that it was his homosexualilty that got him dropped from the Rams.

Whether it was truly his sexual orientation or his skills on the field that cost him his spot, the fact remains that an incredible amount of media attention was focused on Sam simply because he was gay. Surely he was not the first gay man to ever play professional football, but he was the first man to admit it, and that put him in the headlines. Honestly, what difference does it make?

There are female basketball players in the WNBA and NCAA that have came out with their homosexuality, yet no one looks at them any differently than before. When someone chooses to play on any kind of sports team, the only thing that is relevant is how well they perform on the field, court, or track. Their sexual orientation is really not relevant.

The Dallas Cowboys, who signed Sam four days after he was dropped by the Rams, have enough sense to not focus on Sam’s social status. This, statistically, will help the Cowboys. Sam’s preseason stats included 11 tackles and three sacks, as well as a team-leading six tackles in Thursday’s final preseason game. He’s a man who can bring some skills to a professional team, and that’s the only thing that should be making headlines.