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Michael Sam Sr.: 'I Love My Son, And I Don't Care What He Do'

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When Michael Sam Jr. was a member of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, he lived just a few miles from his 55-year-old father, Michael Sam Sr., who's wheelchair-bound in a nursing home in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas.

Some family members hoped the short distance would allow the largely estranged men to reconcile, but according to BuzzFeed's Joel Anderson, they never spoke, instead exchanging only a few text messages.

In his in-depth piece about the Sams' complicated father-son relationship, Anderson attempts to resolve discrepancies between Michael Sr.'s version of events and how they were portrayed by the media and publicists in the wake of Michael Jr.'s coming out. Michael Jr. declined to be interviewed for the story.

It's a rather heartbreaking tale that recounts how Michael Jr.'s sister drowned at 2, while one brother was shot to death, another disappeared, and two others have spent much of their lives behind bars. When Michael Jr. was born, his parents had divorced, but they would later remarry before splitting for good.

Even so, Michael Sr. claims he put a roof over his son's head — while the media has reported that a white family in the small town of Hitchcock, Texas, where Michael Jr. grew up, took care of him. Michael Sr., who taught his son to play football, swears he attended every one of Michael Jr.'s home games during his senior year of high school — but one of his son's coaches disputes that.

Media reports portrayed Michael Sr. as a stereotypically absent black father and a homophobe who had rejected his son. But BuzzFeed's Anderson seems to conclude that at this point, it's more about Michael Jr. rejecting his father and other family members, though perhaps understandably.

In any case, Michael Sr. insists that the distance between them should have little to do with the fact that his son is gay. Although Michael Sr. told a local newspaper that he loved his son unconditionally, his comments to The New York Times have been more widely publicized: “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment. I’m old school. I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.”

But as Anderson, who visited Michael Sr. in Texas, puts it:

Michael Sr. is never going to be the spokesman for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. He’s not thrilled about his son’s sexual orientation. But he also hasn’t disowned his son. He never says his son is going to hell. He doesn’t talk about trying to cure him or make him straight. In his own rough-hewn, coarse way, Michael Sr. has accepted that his son is gay. “I love my son,” he said, “and I don’t care about what he do.”

Read the full story here.


Suspect In Drunken Anti-Gay Assault In Dallas Will Not Face Hate Crimes Charges, Jail Time: READ

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A drunken traveler at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport who assaulted a man he believed was gay while shouting anti-gay epithets will not face jail time and will not face hate crimes charges, Lone Star Q reports. The suspect is identified as McCleish Christmas Benham:

[Benham is] charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time.

However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine per offense.

Reports of the assault document that Benham belligerently shouted that he was angry about "queers": “That’s what I’m upset about. This faggot right here,” he said referring to another passenger. 

Police today have released their official report on the incident. After police were called to Benham's terminal as a result of his intoxicated behavior, the report indicates Benham called a man a "'San Frisco Faggot' and then punched him in his right eye." At that point, "Benham then began threatening a different male passenger." When asked by police arriving on the scene if he had had anything to drink, Benham replied, “Yes, 100 drinks."

Read the police report for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Suspect In Drunken Anti-Gay Assault In Dallas Will Not Face Hate Crimes Charges, Jail Time: READ" »


Michael Sam Cut From Dallas Cowboys' Practice Squad

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Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, has been cut from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, ESPN reports:

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad and signed linebacker Troy Davis...

Coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli praised Sam's work in practice.

"Comes to work every day and practices hard," Garrett said last week. "One of 10 practice roster guys that we have, so he's working on his skills, trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other things. Playing offense, defense, playing the kicking game, that's what a lot of those guys do."

The Cowboys (6-1) have just seven sacks this season, but they never seriously considered calling up Sam to the active roster. 

Sam signed with the Cowboys' practice squad after being cut from the St. Louis Rams during their final round of cuts prior to the season officially getting underway. Sam today tweeted out,

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.


Dallas Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

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A Texas nurse who provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric (now deceased) has tested positive for the virus but is in stable condition according to health officials, the AP reports:

Dr. Daniel Varga, of the Texas Health Resources, said during a news conference Sunday that the worker wore a gown, gloves, mask and shield when they provided care to Thomas Eric Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Varga did not identify the worker and says the family of the worker has "requested total privacy."

Varga says the health care worker reported a fever Friday night as part of a self-monitoring regimen required by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said another person also remains in isolation, and the hospital has stopped accepting new emergency room patients.

CBS News adds:

CDC Director Thomas Frieden told CBS' "Face The Nation" in an interview airing Sunday morning that the case is troubling "because clearly there was a breach in protocol."

"We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients," Frieden said.

Frieden said that despite the safety protocols, "even a single breach can result in contamination."

Health officials have begun interviewing the patient and are identifying individuals who may have come in contact with the nurse and been exposed to the virus.  


Dallas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Dies

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Texas Healthy Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has announced that Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with the first reported case of Ebola in the United States, has died: 

It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.

Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle.

Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time.

ABC News reports:

Duncan, a Liberian man who had traveled to Texas to visit family, was the first person to contract the disease while in the U.S. and became the first person to die of the disease in the U.S.

Four health workers were brought back from West Africa where they contracted the disease and were treated and released. A fifth person, cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, is being treated at a Nebraska facility.


American Decency Association to Protest Outside Cowboys Stadium Over Michael Sam Joining Team

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The American Decency Association, an evangelical advocacy organization that opposes alleged pornographic and vulgar media content, is planning an anti-gay demonstration outside the AT&T Stadium in Dallas this Sunday to protest the Cowboys signing Michael Sam to its practice squad

Texas station CBS 11 reports:

Jack Burkman heads the group which claims to have 3.62 million members in 41 states. Burkman says, “We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled. We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country.”

The station also fielded reactions from local sports fans about Sam joining the team, with some predictably homophobic responses. 

Some callers to 105.3 The Fan made verbal tackles against Sam. One caller said, “I don’t want my kids looking up to me and say Daddy, what does that mean that he’s gay?” But other fans say with the Cowboy‎’s weak defense, they may need Michael Sam’s strengths. “If he can use the speed to get around the corner and get to the quarterback, hey, that’s all we need.” 

The ADA, you might recall, is the same organization that claimed Satan was behind Honey Maid's pro-gay "This is Wholesome" tv ad back in March. The group joined with other anti-gay bigots in boycott of the graham cracker company - which ultimately led to this awesome response from Honey Maid. 

UPDATE: Readers have tipped us about the CBS affiliate in Dallas being fed misleading information from anti-gay lobbyist Jack Burkman, as the original story has been taken down online. Additionally, the American Decency Association has a post up on their website saying that while they are totally opposed to Michael Sam's "lifestyle," they are not the bigots behind the protest. 


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