NFL draft www.nflraidersofficial.com/Nike-Dave-Casper-Jersey.html Michael Sam
It's easy to worry that these attitudes are representative of those held throughout the NFL. They very well may be. At the same time, these reactions are also understandable and entirely predictable. Social norms change more quickly than people. Sam's coming out was a big deal, and he was ready for it. Many people welcome the idea of a gay player in the NFL. But that doesn't mean everyone welcomes it, or is ready for it, or knows the proper way to react to it. To be surprised that some players had negative reactions to Sam's draft kiss is nave.
So, what to do about those reactions? Should players be fined, suspended and sent to social media training, as Miami Dolphins player Don Jones has? It depends on what we're after. The reaction to Jones seems directed at punishing him for making his thoughts public, not having them in the first place. What he needs isn't social media training but life training.
He's not entirely to blame for this: Professional athletes are put on a different track than the rest of society. They work hard and are talented, but they are sheltered and they often come into a lot of money quickly. They don't have an opportunity to grow and experience people different from themselves, and as such may be even slower to adjust to new norms.
But the important thing is that people are adjusting, if slowly. And that's OK. Real growth happens when a shift in thinking is genuinely understood and accepted, and not when it's forced. Progress does not need to be instant to signify a change in course.
Sutter: It's officialfootballjaguars.com/Nike-Blake-Bortles-Jersey.html more than just a kiss
Last year I spent some time with an open lesbian couple in rural Mississippi as they were planning a commitment ceremony.
One of their worries the kiss.
Their mother planned to attend the ceremony in Florida to show her love for her daughter. But when it came time for her little girl to kiss another woman, she told me, she planned to avert her eyes. "It's a strange thing to me," she said.
The couple knew something the rest of the country only woke up to this weekend when NFL draftee Michael Sam celebrated by gasp! kissing his boyfriend: Polls may indicate increasing tolerance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but homophobia is still a very present force in America. It just hides until moments like Sam's smooch.
The vile reaction to the kiss shouldn't be pushed aside and ignored. That people in 2014 think two men kissing is gross and inappropriate for children is telling. We must push for legal equality for LGBT people for marriage equality, yes, and also laws that protect people from being fired because of their sexual orientation. But we can't rest until LGBT people aren't just tolerated but are actually accepted. If gay people were really accepted and embraced by the public at large, this kiss would be cute, not gross.
That it made so many people cringe is sad and telling.
It's a sign there's much work to be done.
John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project.
James: It's your free speech right to be critical of kiss
As a former NFL player, I'm disappointed with the NFL's handling of the Michael Sam situation. Sam has the freedom to make his own personal choices. At the same time, if Don Jones who tweeted "OMG" and "horrible" after the kiss is Derek Carr Kids Jersey motivated by his religious beliefs to hold a different opinion, he has the same freedom to be upfront about his beliefs. (Jones was fined and barred from team activities till he undergoes educational training.)
Is the NFL's new motto: "Don't think, don't speak"?
If Jones made statements that are part of his religious beliefs, then the NFL absolutely cannot take action against him to denigrate those beliefs. I was fired from my job as a TV sports analyst because of my religious beliefs about marriage. I know what Don Jones is going through.
But this cannot be a one side always loses game. Sam deserves to be judged on the merits of his game and so does Jones. No one should be punished for holding religious beliefs about marriage, one way or the other. Fox Sports publicly and maliciously went after me because of my religious beliefs. If tolerance is to mean anything at all, it must mean that Michael Sam, Don Jones and I can be free to be Christians or otherwise, and speak our minds.
Craig James, a former New England Patriot, is an assistant to the president at the Family Research Council.
Kohn: Get over it, it's normal to kiss someone you love
Every morning, when my daughter climbs into our bed to wake us up at some insane hour, I lean over and kiss my partner. My daughter is there, watching.
This is not a shock to her, she has two moms, and just like all the kids with a mom and a dad or two dads or just a mom or just grandparents, my daughter thinks her family is both perfectly normal and perfectly wonderful. And by the way, on the street, at school fairs, when other children come over to our house, we don't hide our affection. We act just like every other couple and every other set of parents do. Why the hell wouldn't we?
When Michael Sam heard over the phone that he had been drafted to the NFL, he did what any other normal human being would do he kissed his lover. But because Sam's lover is another guy, some folks including other football players are upset. Mysteriously, men who dress up in tights and huddle together and routinely slap each other's rear ends are uncomfortable with guy on guy affection. It's 2014, people. A majority of Americans support gay rights and marriage equality. Johnny Manziel Limited Jersey If two guys kissing can make hulking male athletes and sports fans feel so insecure about their own masculinity and heterosexuality, that's not Sam's problem.
Get over it. Gay people kiss because kissing the people you love is normal. What's not normal is attacking and insulting others for just being who they are.
Sally Kohn is a CNN political commentator, progressive activist and columnist.
Does society influence Johnny Manziel Elite Jersey the media's coverage, or does the media influence trends in society? It's always been a chicken egg sort of cycle.
From that standpoint, you have to salute ESPN for broadcasting Michael Sam's historic moment. The network took its cue from the gay rights movement that's slowly transforming the country, and gave it one big push in the right direction.
Sam broke down in tears while on the phone with the St. Louis Rams as he learned he'd just been drafted. Then, just as so many newly minted NFL players had done before him, he turned and kissed his partner.