Backlash for the NFL

I think the anonymous NFL people who were interviewed by Sports Illustrated and said that they thought that Michael Sam coming out as gay would make him less desirable for teams in the NFL draft because of the ‘controversy’ he would generate, must be regretting their words because they have been getting a beating over those remarks, by critics saying they showed how backward are the views of the NFL administrators, while players seem to be more accepting.

In addition to Jon Stewart excoriating them yesterday, Stephen Colbert also got into the act.

The Colbert Report
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(This clip aired on February 11, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Dale Hansen, a sports anchor on a local WFAA TV station also got in his licks at the NFL, in a video that is all over the internet.


  1. says

    As I said elsewhere on FtB, this is becoming an old versus young generational fight, and not straight versus gay. Those with outdated teabagger-type “thinking” are finding themselves a shrinking minority.

    It’s like Birmingham all over again, those who oppose integration trying to resist violently, but the public are saying, “Don’t you DARE turn on those fire hoses!”

  2. rq says

    Look at Dale Hansen, though – he is the old generation, and he gets it.
    It’s not even a generational thing, or straight versus gay – it’s conservative thinking versus progress.

  3. jamessweet says

    It’s worth noting that in Chris Kluwe’s infamous “one bigot and two cowards” article, it wasn’t really any of the players that was the problem, it was a single member of the coaching staff (which is very much in line with this old/young divide), combined with a “cowardly” posturing on the part of some of the other team administration.

    And that’s exactly why I think Sam’s draft stock may drop (though I do sincerely hope not) — there’s going to be the odd psycho bigot among the coaching staff here and there, and teams know this, and instead of making a stand for what’s right, they are going to want to exploit that fact in order to use a lower draft pick on Sam than they otherwise might. That’s my guess. To pun on Kluwe’s title: Michael Sam’s draft stock will be hurt by a few scattered bigots and a culture of cowardice. That’s my prediction.

  4. besomyka says

    The part that gets me, that makes me think he really does get it, is when he says (paraphrasing) I’m not always comfortable when someone tells me they are gay. I don’t understand his world, but I do understand that he’s part of mine.

    When I came out as trans to my family, my Dad said something similar. He said that he didn’t ever think he’d understand, but that he didn’t have to. He recognized that it wasn’t about him, and that his ‘understanding’ of it didn’t matter as much, because *I* understood it and that’s what mattered.

    He is still uncomfortable with it all, but that sort of view – however expressed – strikes me as an expression of clarity.

    Anyway, good on Mr. Hansen!

  5. Vote for Pedro says

    I like the theory that the anonymous sources said that hoping to drive his stock down and draft lower than they could have otherwise. I think it’s probably not that, but part of me wants to believe it.

    Also important is that his college team knew for awhile, and note how no one actually cared. Not a peep during the season.

    I do think there will be more media questions at first, and not wanting to deal with that is potentially valid. Seems short-sighted to me, though, since he’s a solid player. Some team will draft him, though – there are several that are far too crafty to pass on him for this. Patriots and Steelers come to mind.

  6. elpayaso says

    there’s a certain irony in this situation….in thw world of 2014, i think it could be good marketing for whatever club is progressive (read, enlightened self-interest) enough to hire him. think of the huge amount of convention etc bookings that AZ received right after they finally decided to recognize MLK Day.

  7. Mano Singham says


    I think you are right. Think of how the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers Branch Rickey and its manager Leo Durocher are viewed so favorably now for signing Jackie Robinson as the first black player in Major League Baseball, while all those who rejected him are forgotten or despised. I hope some forward looking team management decides to emulate the Dodgers.

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