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Straight Talk

I lived in Texas for ten years, and one of the things I always liked about it was that people would talk straight about difficult subjects. This broadcast by Dale Hansen from a Dallas TV station proves that the tradition is still alive, even when it means straight talking about someone who isn’t straight.

UPDATE: An article in USA Today says that Michael Sam is the most important football player in the US. Indeed, his jersey is the second hottest selling rookie jersey. “It turns out NFL fans can’t wait to buy – and presumably wear – the jersey of a gay man. Who would have predicted that?”



  1. Zyvlyn wrote:

    I say this as a full supporter of LGBT equality, but I wish his jersey hadn’t sold so well so early. Now there are going to be even more questions if/when Sam makes the final roster of whether he really earned it or was kept for good PR.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  2. westomoon wrote:

    *grinning* I say this as a fan of the Seahawks, a team whose brightest stars are mostly “Seabiscuits” — undervalued & even mocked in the NFL draft: the proof is in the playing.

    Whatever people may say about the reasons for the man’s retention, he is obviously going to put butts in the seats — and it won’t be the first time a player’s been kept on a team for that reason. The rest will all be settled on the playing field.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  3. Peter wrote:

    Exactly. I have no idea of his skill level–we’ll have to see.

    There are plenty of examples of excellent college players who couldn’t transition to the NFL. They make great stories, but it’s ultimately about winning games. Tim Tebow was a great story, but when you can’t win games, you’re gone.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  4. Zed wrote:

    I’ve seen commentary from this guy before, probably here, and he always seems spot on.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  5. hassan wrote:

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    I don’t understand why people keep saying that (pro) football is all about winning games. When it is clearly all about making money. And just as clearly, publicity helps make money.

    Hassan, Matt Walsh tries to set up a false equivalence between Michael Sam and Tim Tebow. No way. Michael Sam was the *first* openly gay football player to get drafted. That is newsworthy. Also, gays have been and still are discriminated against (indeed in the state where Sam will be playing football, it is still perfectly legal to fire him just because he is gay).

    On the other hand, Tim Tebow was a Christian who kept bringing up his religion. Despite right-wing claims to the contrary, Christians are not discriminated against. A better equivalence for Tebow would be some football player who keeps talking about how rich he is. Yeah, people are (eventually) going to tell him to shut up.

    And people did freak out because Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend. TV stations showed that kiss *because* they thought it was newsworthy. If you want to be angry at someone for showing that, be angry at the TV stations. Otherwise, are you telling me that Sam has no right to kiss his boyfriend?

    Yes, Michael Sam is obviously trying to get publicity. Duh.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
  7. Zyvlyn wrote:

    I took this from my football forum in a thread discussing Sam. It’s the best explanation for why gay people can’t just “keep it to themselves” and need to come out publicly.

    Straight people identify their sexual preference all of the time. Every time they mention their girlfriend or wife, talk about their week end plans with their significant other, what they did on their family vacation, etc. – they are in effect saying they are straight. Gay people who are in the closet are forced to avoid these everyday conversations or to mislead who ever they are talking to – in effect hide their relationships or family from the rest of the world. What coming out does is it stops the lies and lets them live a normal life. Most gay people I know rarely mention their sex life but they do talk about their family life – pretty much like straight people do.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  8. Hassan wrote:

    IK, well blacks/jews/muslims are or have been discriminated against in this country, never heard what happened when first black/jew/muslim got drafted?

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  9. TJ wrote:

    Hassan, were you listening for commentary on those milestone events? Hint: the first black NFL player was drafted in 1946. I can’t find details on first Muslim or Jew draft picks.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Here, let me google that for you —

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 3:46 am | Permalink
  11. Hassan wrote:

    And? That does not answer my question. Was that regular event or was it made into some mega historic event with speeches and coverage etc.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink
  12. ebdoug wrote:

    We are animals. Not plants or minerals. I wish everyone would go watch a field of cows. The cows (by definition female) mount each other all the time. The cows don’t care about color or Religion. We stupid animals make a much ado about nothing: color, Religion, sexual orientation, marriage, etc.
    But it is entertaining reading comments on Color, Religion, and sexual orientation.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 5:58 am | Permalink
  13. ThatGuy wrote:

    Hassan, TJ and IK are pointing out that you’d have to look back at least several decades for news about the first black, Muslim, or Jewish player to have been successful in professional American sports.

    Kenny Washington, the first black NFL player, died over 40 years ago. Though if you’d been sitting at your radio in 1941, you may have heard that when the Bears tried to sign him, they were blocked by NFL owners. Then if you’d happened to be listening a few years later, NFL integration probably would have made the news.

    Sid Luckman was the first Jewish NFL player, signed by the (seemingly quite progressive) Chicago Bears in 1939. I can’t find anything about this being a huge deal, but that’s probably because his being the first Jewish player was overshadowed by the fact that he revolutionized football and won a handful of championships in the process.

    As for the first Muslim in the NFL, it’s hard to tell. The first prominant Muslim was Ahmad Rashad (converted to Islam and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972) but it’s pretty unlikely that he was the first. At this point, the religion of the player probably wasn’t very notable, with Protestants, Catholics, and Jews having played together for decades and Muhammad Ali making Islam fairly well-known in American sports a decade before Rashad started playing.

    I think part of the issue is you’re looking so far back (relative to sports, anyway) that when Washington or Jackie Robinson or Ali were breaking ground, the media culture and sports themselves were really different. For one, the NFL draft was not the specacle it is today, for another, the media didn’t run on 90% human interest pieces. But yes, being the first black person to do something in sports was a huge deal. The Red Sox refused to sign Robinson (a player they desperately needed) because he was black, and Brooklyn benefited immensely because they could mostly look past that fact. Now, no player can wear the number 42 because of his contributions to the sport.

    A little more recently, we saw Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith being the first African American NFL coaches to go head-to-head in the Superbowl (also the first African Americans to coach in that game at all), with Dungy becoming the first black coach to win that game. Yes, both of these milestones were pretty heavily noted in news at the time.

    I think the above is what IK was getting at when he linked you a whole bunch of The Google. Though I promise some of that is from my own knowledge, which is where any errors will come from.

    Finally, if that guy were my local news anchor, I might actually turn to the TV for some of my news.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink
  14. TJ wrote:

    Hassan the world was a much different place in 1943. Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player had to deal with incredible amounts of hatred and abuse from both fans and players. I’m guessing, though I don’t know for sure, that the first black football player faced similar issues.

    I guess I’m not really sure what question you want answered. Yes, the first black baseball player (baseball was the more popular sport at the time) was a mega historic event with speeches and coverage. You didn’t hear about it because it happened in the 1940’s.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  15. Hassan wrote:

    EBDOUG, equating humans with animals, we only do to condemn people with no morals.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink