Is the media coverage going overboard with Jason Collins and Michael Sam?

By Trey Crosby III

Hello sports fans, I know you guys missed me (I missed you too) but, have no fear.

The Guru is back from hiatus and better than ever. I haven’t spoken to you all since Peyton Manning went all Peyton Manning in the SuperBowl and proved to the world why Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. and why Eli has more rings than his far more superiorly talented older brother. I have a few things on my mind that go from the NFL to the NBA, so bear with me as I explain the sideshow that has become “The openly gay athlete”.

When Missouri standout defensive end Michael Sam announced he was gay before the NFL combine, many in the sports world stood up and applauded him for his courage as well as admired him for being bold and doing such. I would like to say that I fall into that category. Although I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, (as well as adultery..fornication..none of that is off the hook) I don’t believe in judging people (especially athletes/celebs) for who they sleep with in bed or what they do in their private lives. At the end of the day it shouldn’t really matter to me personally or to the media as a whole.

I mean, it did for the media when it came to who Tiger Woods was sleeping with but, I’m actually going to let that slide.

What I do believe in however, is having the best athletes on the field and having them perform at their highest possible level. So, when the question posed to me was “How do you feel about Michael Sam being an openly gay player going into the NFL?”

My answer is that it’s great. Finally, somebody isn’t afraid to embrace their sexuality and be who they want to be no matter what that means.

Statistics alone would suggest that there are current NFL players right now who are secretly gay.

Sam isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last gay player in the NFL. If Michael Sam can produce at a high level then that’s good for him, but like he said at his own press conference, he wants to be known as a football player, not a gay football player.

 After Sam made his announcement, in what almost seemed like a rush to be the first sport with an active openly gay player, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets decided to sign Jason Collins to a 10-day contract. That’s when the freak show began.

Who was the first black NFL player? Quick, who was the first black NBA player?

My guess would be that 95% of you couldn’t answer that question. Now if I ask you who the first black MLB player was everybody would respond in unison “Jackie Robinson”. Why is that? Why is it that we all know who the first black MLB player was, but scratch our heads when asked of the two previous sports color barrier breakers? BECAUSE JACKIE ROBINSON IS A HALL OF FAMER.

Not to say that the first black NFL/NBA players were nobodies, but as far as popular history goes, they are forgotten and not thought of in the slightest. Jackie Robinson isn’t Jackie Robinson without being one of the best baseball players in his era.

So why did ESPN and other media outlets turn the Jason Collins 10-day contract signing into a side-show that you might see at your local fair?

Be my guest, because I couldn’t begin to think of a legitimate answer. I turned on my TV and was absolutely disgusted to see ESPN parade a montage of Jason Collins “highlights” from his 11 minutes of play in his first game with the Nets.

I put highlights in italics and quotations because I’m not sure you can actually call anything he did in that montage a highlight. If what Collins did in those 11 minutes on the court were highlights then Kwame Brown should have a statue erected of himself outside of the Verizon Center.

I have never in my entire life seen a guy make Sportscenter with a spot shadow for setting a screen while another player hit an open jumper.

It was ridiculous, and it goes against EVERYTHING Michael Sam was saying in his presser before the combine.

So, lets get back to sports and not get caught up in the hype. Let’s go back to having guys cheered and revered for their accomplishments on the field, not for what or who they do in the bedroom.

Let’s NOT treat Jason Collins like Jackie Robinson. Because, if you’re only on a 10-day contract, you DAMN sure are not Jackie Robinson.

Let’s judge Michael Sam based on his on field performance. Let’s not be surprised if Sam drops in the draft to the 3rd day and let’s not base that possible drop on the fact that he is gay. Maybe, being rated the 16th best defensive end in the draft before you announce you’re gay gets your name called on the 3rd day of said draft.

Let’s get back to glamorizing athletes for their on field accomplishments and let’s stop blowing things out of proportion. PLEASE AND THANK YOU.



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