Sam was in St. Louis to give the keynote speech at an event organized as part of National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, and he was kind enough to agree to answer a few questions. I told him that my interest was in finding out how he sees himself and his place within the gay community and what he thinks his place is within the Black queer community.
2014 saw a mixture of advances and stark reminders of continued injustice. The gay journey in America proceeded on many paths in 2014. Here are highlights.
Perhaps, as time goes by, as more pioneers break racial, sexual, gender, religious, ethnic, language, and other barriers, athletes' very being may one day have diminished political implications, but sport has always been and will forever have political consequences and possibilities.
Have you heard the news that Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay? Are you thinking, "OK, was anybody asking?" or perhaps more pointedly, "Who gives a flying f***?"? Then this blog post is for you!
I've seen a little too much insistence this week, online and on social media, that Michael Sam's being cut from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad had nothing to do with his being gay. It's a bit overwrought and defensive. A lot of fans seem to want to believe the NFL is not a homophobic institution.
Athletes have the power to inspire. When we have role models -- men who are basketball, soccer and ice hockey players, women who are triathletes, beach volleyball players and runners -- we can become more comfortable, confident and safe in how we identify and who we feel free to become.
Religious radicals are marketers of mistreatment, and it's time to call them on it. It is amazing what indecent things some people say and do in the name of decency.
It's heartening that Michael Sam's signing is being seen as a football decision not just by Cowboys leadership but by a majority of fans as well. And by looking beyond the SEC All-American's sexuality and simply giving him a chance to play, the Dallas Cowboys have proven that they truly deserve to be called "America's Team."
Just maybe Sam has found the right place where he can possibly play right away and that's the Dallas Cowboys. On Wednesday, the Cowboys signed Michael Sam to the practice squad and he can help them immediately as their defense was horrid and still is this season.
So how about this for a deal. What if the Christians focused on loving their neighbors and let the Cowboys -- including Michael Sam -- focus on playing football. Seriously!
The NFL should recognize that the degrees of separation between overt bigotry and unconscious biases may be few, and the effects equally harmful. If a team failed to draft Sam based on his sexual orientation, the team discriminated against him and should consider the rightness of its actions.
This weekend Sam was cut by the Rams after a strong preseason. St. Louis was the wrong fit. The Rams handled the entire process with class. Yet the disturbing part is that no other team felt he was good enough to make a roster.
It's 11:30 pm on a random Thursday night, and who do I see crossing the street in LA on their way into the club? Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player drafted and recently dropped from an NFL team.
The NFL is a league that tolerates homophobia, the lofty words of its officials notwithstanding. And until LGBT groups and politicians stand up and take it on rather than cowering, homophobia will continue to get a pass.
Making an NFL team's 53-man roster starts in training camp. According to NFL rules, each team can only have 90 players when training camp starts. The process that all teams undergo to get from 90 to 53 can be difficult to understand. For players who are vying to make a team, it can be more stressful and challenging than playing the game itself.
It made me reflect on a time when I felt like I was alone, the only openly gay athlete at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. I was the lone gay kicker on the football team, fighting for acceptance on and off the field.