Football (American) Hub
There is a t-shirt bromance going on at the New England Patriots based on the recent Macauley Culkin/Ryan Gosling lovefest.
On Monday, receiver Julian Edelman wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the image of a shirtless Rob Gronkowski.
And yesterday, the tight end answered back.
Check out his response, AFTER THE JUMP...
Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is angry at being forced to watch Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend. Because NFL draft viewing sessions are evidently reenactments of scenes from A Clockwork Orange.
Said LaBarbera on Crosstalk (bolding mine):
[The media] basically reported the kiss without giving the other side of people who would voice disapproval of people being forced and subjected to through the media these homosexual acts, the homosexual perversion.
The media didn't provide the "other side" because the "other side" of this discussion is not one whose arguments are deserving of airtime. Like with climate change deniers and flat earth conspiracy theorists, not all opinions are of equal validity and worthy of consideration.
You can listen to the clips from Crosstalk below:
Oprah Winfrey's OWN network today announced a multi-part documentary series on the life of gay St. Louis Rams player Michael Sam. OWN is partnering with Emmy-winning producer Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Amy Rice for "The Untitled Michael Sam Project” (working title) which spotlights the former University of Missouri football player and his historic journey as he prepares to enter the biggest professional sports league in America, according to a press release:
This special documentary series will feature a deeply personal, up-close look at the remarkable man at the center of this groundbreaking moment in professional sports, as the All-American defensive end and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year enters the competitive world of professional football. Cameras will follow Sam as he works to earn his spot on the St. Louis Rams all while under the intense scrutiny of being the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Said Oprah: “We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it foreve. I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format. The next real-life story we follow in ‘The Untitled Michael Sam Project’ promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here."
Sam added: "Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability. I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together."
“The Untitled Michael Sam Project” is produced with OWN by Pilgrim Studios and is executive produced by Craig Piligian, Nicholas Caprio and Johnny Gould. Amy Rice, Ralph Wikke and Mitch Rosa are co-executive producers. Cameron Weiss, Joe Barkett and Howard Bragman are producers.
Amy Kushnir, a host on KTXD's The Broadcast morning show in Dallas - Fort Worth, walked off the show on Tuesday morning after a heated argument about ESPN airing the Michael Sam kiss.
Said Kushnir, before stomping off:
"When parents do not have a choice about whether or not they want their children to see this, it is wrong...I don't call it a moment of celebration...It's being pushed in faces. I don't want to see that. I don't want to see cake in your face, kissing each other."
Then she added:
"Here's the thing. ESPN would not have aired any of it had he been kissing his wife."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
With Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, former NFL player Wade Davis, who publicly came out in 2012, almost a decade after he retired from the sport, is sharing what it was like being a closeted gay black man in the NFL in the early 2000s. In an interview with Al Jazeera America Davis tells how football provided a mask that helped him hide his sexual orientation: “No one ever questioned me as being a gay male because I played football.” Davis went on to say that, for him, coming out while he was still an active player was never an option:
It was something that I really never even thought about. I thought that it was not possible for someone to be a gay male and play the sport of football…It was something that I kind of was domesticated to believe from the age of 7 on up, that football and being gay just didn’t mix.
Davis, the Executive Director of the 'You Can Play Project', a group working to support LGBT rights and fight homophobia in sports, recently spoke with league coaches and general managers in the NFL about homophobia and how to tackle problems that could arise from having a gay player in the locker room. For his part, Davis explains that the locker room and in particular the showers never provided him with any difficulties:
Well, first of all, most guys look terrible naked, right? [Laughs.] Secondly, those are my brothers. I tell people often, if you put a man in a locker room with women, there’s a chance that he may be excited or aroused. But if those women are his sisters, there is no attraction there.
And so my teammates were my brothers. So, whether they were naked or not didn’t really matter to me.
Davis also delved into why being an openly gay football player might be different than being an out individual in other sports:
I think that football is like this sport that we deem as these gladiator superhuman men, right? I think that the way that we view men and masculinity really plays a role in that. So this idea that someone who can be gay and play this hypermasculine sport, people often think that those two things can’t coexist. I think that there is shortsightedness in the way that we look at men and also in the way that we look at sports. I do a lot of work with the NFL, and I do say that football is about toughness and masculinity and combat. But there are also even higher levels of family, of solidarity, of compassion that people don’t talk about when they think about sports. If you watch a game on Sunday now, as soon as the player gets hurt, you’ll see players from both teams come around and start saying a prayer. After a game, win or lose, there are guys who shake hands, they hug. These are gentlemen who exist in a very violent sport, but the love and the passion that they have for the sport and for each other is actually greater than those other aspects of it.
Perhaps most poignantly, Davis offers some advice to young LGBT athletes: “Don’t let the love of your sport overshadow the need to love yourself.”
You can watch Parts 1 and 2 of Davis’ interview with Al Jazeera America, AFTER THE JUMP…