By now, practically all of America has heard that Michael Sam on Saturday was picked by the St. Louis Rams, making him the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL. And by now, you’ve probably seen the photo of Sam tearfully kissing his boyfriend upon hearing the news, seen the video of them sharing an emotional kiss, and maybe even seen the video of Sam smearing cake into his boyfriend’s face, then kissing him.
The AP observes:
Producer Seth Markman, who oversees NFL draft coverage for ESPN, said that in the extensive preparation for Sam’s possible draft, “we never had one discussion about, ‘What if he’s drafted, his partner’s there and they kiss?’ Honestly, it never came up.”
He suggested a possible generational split over how much it matters.
“When I got home last night and saw the attention (it was receiving), it kind of threw me,” he said. “We’re a young production crew and quite honestly it was just another moment in the years we’ve done this.”
“In the truck, we were only saying, ‘Wow, this is great emotion here.’ No one stepped up and said, ‘Oh, wow, do we really want to be showing this?’”
But clearly some on the right are furious.
Dolphins second-year player Don Jones tweeted, “OMG” and “horrible.” He later deleted those tweets, and yesterday was fined and will undergo sensitivity training.
Former Giants running back Derrick Ward went on a Twitter tirade, calling Michael Sam “no bueno,” describing the kiss as “disgusting,” while claiming it didn’t “matter if he’s gay or not. I could careless,” although he reportedly also deleted this tweet:
In fact, many unknown people also went on Twitter tirades, often invoking religion and anger that kids were watching TV. A great many also compared the support Michael Sam has been getting, including the emotional kiss he shared with his boyfriend, to the disdain many on the left had for former Denver Broncos and NY Jets quarterback Tim Tebow’s religion-infused behavior.
Take a look:
Image, top, by Serrano Burton via Instagram
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