Youth Commentary: Gay Athlete a Role Model for Truth

Feb. 22, 2014 / By

JOHNNY FLORES/Coachella Uninc

COLUMBIA, Mo. — He’s 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, and an All-American football player who recently graduated from the University of Missouri.

Did I mention he is gay?

His name is Michael Sam and, on February 11, he shared this information with Chris Connelly during on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

“I came to tell the world that I’m an openly, proud gay man,” said Sam. Should Sam be drafted in May, as is expected, he will become the first openly gay player in the National Football League.

“I’m not afraid to tell the world who I am. I’m Michael Sam: I’m a college graduate. I’m African American, and I’m gay,” he said. “I’m comfortable in my skin.

While it’s nice to know that the “manly” world of football will soon have an openly gay player, how does Sam coming out affect teenagers like myself?

The way I see it, Sam would rather give up his NFL dream than live in a lie — a decision I support. The idea of having to live a lie and hide the truth should now be abolished thanks to the bravery and courageousness shown by Sam. As a sports fan myself, I have more respect for players who come out and admit their sexuality rather than hide behind a facade.

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Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.