When Michael Sam announced that he was gay on Sunday, the sports world paused because Sam is the first male major sport athlete to publicly come out while still active. Then on Tuesday, former Nebraska kicker Eric Lueshen made the same announcement. Props to them for making the announcement, but really, the announcement really shouldn't be necessary.
Why? It's really nobody's business, other than their's.
Whether Sam prefers men to women has no impact on his ability to sack quarterbacks, and that's really what his future NFL draft status should be based 100% on. His sexual preference should be completely immaterial to everybody else. Same with Lueshen; his ability to kick the football should have been the only criteria for determining whether he should have been able to play for the Big Red.
Your opinions about homosexuality are irrelevant in this discussion.
That doesn't mean that people who find it immoral are wrong. People have very strong beliefs on the subject, and they are entitled to believe that way. What they are not entitled to do is force those beliefs on others who believe differently.
In other words, you can believe Sam's homosexuality is wrong...as long as you realize that it's his right and his life to live as he sees fit. And there's nothing that you can really say or do about it.
Some people feel that eating meat is morally wrong. Some religions have restrictions against eating certain foods. That doesn't stop others who don't share that same belief from enjoying a bacon cheeseburger.
We have this wonderful thing in America called freedom of religion. You are free to believe what you want to believe. I'm free to believe what I want to believe. A gay person's ability to love and commit to another person of the same sex has no impact on a straight person's ability to love and commit to someone of the opposite sex. What happens in their bed rooms has no bearing on what happens in yours.
You are free to consider Michael Sam or Eric Lueshen a sinner, if that's what your faith instructs you. But your personal feelings about homosexuality should have zero impact on the ability on gay people to live their life as they see best. Pope Francis recognizes this, and created quite an uproar when he shifted the Catholic Church's view on homosexuality last summer:
"Who am I to judge?"
That doesn't mean that the Catholic Church has altered their doctrine.In the Catholic faith, it's still a sin. It just highlights that the Pope Francis recognizes that homosexuals are still God's children and need to be treated as such.
You may not be Catholic. But we're all American citizens and each of us has the right to live our lives as we see fit. Props to Michael Sam and Eric Lueshen to have the courage to come out publicly.
Hopefully soon enough, these statements won't be necessary, and the sports world can focus once again on the competition on the field.