Football (American) Hub




Arizona Cardinals Video Director Rob Brakel Comes Out As Gay

Brakel2

Rob Brakel, video director for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, said the response has been overwhelmingly positive since he came out publicly as gay this week.

"Reception has been unreal," Brakel told Towleroad. "Couple players that know were awesome. The head coach, GM, and our owner Michael (Bidwill) have been nothing short of AMAZING. They have my back and are happy for me." 
 
But Brakel, who came out Wednesday in an interview with OutSports before the Cardinals' game against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, also said that for him, the decision hasn't really sunk in yet.  
 
"Busy with game last night, flying back, went to bed at 4am and just woke up to phone going crazy," he told Towleroad on Friday. "I do need a few more hours of sleep but I have to get to work soon. In time I think it will be great for me." 
 
The Cardinals defeated the Rams and are atop the NFC at 11-3, adding to what Brakel called "the biggest year for me." 
 
Brakel, a 17-year veteran of NFL video crews, told OutSports he was inspired to come out publicly while reading gay MLS player Robbie Rogers'' book, "Coming Out To Play," on the team plane Wednesday. OutSports reports: 

"I don't care anymore," Brakel said from his hotel room, the shaking coming through his voice over the phone. "Everyone around me knows who I am. I'm a guy who will give the shirt off his back to help you. I'll do whatever I can to help people. And I've had enough." ... 

As Brakel read the book, the rest of the Cardinals filed past him on the plane. He knew some might look down and see his choice of reading material, but he didn't care. Not only was he engrossed in the story, many of them already knew or suspected he was gay.

Those who've known Brakel was gay include Cardinals head coach Bruce Ariens, to whom Brakel came out at the NFL combine as Michael Sam made his NFL debut earlier this year. And those who've suspected include star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who did "the gay math" on Brakel. 

Brakel acknowledged it's tough being gay around the NFL, and he's thought about quitting at times.

A Twitter search for "gay" and "Cardinals" over the last few days shows exactly Brakel and others are up against — and why it's so important for them to come out.


First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO

Sam

The Oprah Winfrey Network's Michael Sam docu-series that was postponed back in May due to concerns it was causing a "distraction" for the openly gay footballer is set to make a revival in the form of a 90-minute documentary airing later this month.

Via news release:

The documentary was originally announced as a multi-part series but transitioned into a 90-minute documentary when shooting was postponed to allow Michael to focus on football. Cameras get up close and personal with Michael as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports.

Watch a promo for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

Following the documentary's airing at 9pm ET on December 27, Oprah will sit down with Michael Sam for a special television interview, the first since he was cut from the NFL back in October

Continue reading "First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO" »


Michael Sam: 'If I Had It My Way, I Never Would Have [Come Out] The Way I Did' — VIDEO

Gq_sam

Earlier this week, we reported that NFL free agent Michael Sam had scored the cover of GQ after being named one of its 'Men of the Year'.

Cover_samThe magazine has slowly been rolling out profiles of the men they picked, and Sam offers up some thoughts on the whirlwind of events that went down this year, including being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and then picked up by the Dallas Cowboys, and his coming out.

Of the latter, Sam says it wouldn't have been the way he would have preferred it, but he knew it had to happen:

If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did, never would have told it the way I did.

I would have done the same thing I did at Mizzou. Which was to tell my team and my coaches and leave it at that. But since I did tell my team, word got out.… People think the word didn't get out. It did. Or it did and it didn't. They kept it confined within our family. But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn't have the year I did, nobody would have cared. But I did have that year. And a lot of people knew. Someone was gonna ask me, "I heard you told your team a secret.…" Well, I was comfortable with who I was, and I wouldn't have denied it. And then I wouldn't have been able to control the story. But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason. It looks good to see me in the position I'm in now, because I can show the world how good I am and rise up the ranks. I'm at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I'm a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player.

Sam also gives a brief video interview and talks about the draft and how he's glad he never has to do it again.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam: 'If I Had It My Way, I Never Would Have [Come Out] The Way I Did' — VIDEO" »


Michael Sam Scores GQ 'Man of the Year' Cover!

Sam

NFL free agent Michael Sam is one of six celebrities appearing on covers of GQ's annual 'Men of the Year' issue, along with Chris Pratt, Dave Chappelle, Ansel Elgort, Shailene Woodley, Steve Carell.

Stories on each are being published all week.

Check out the other covers HERE.


Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims Has a #BreakTheInternet #TBT Moment

Sims

Out Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has been accused by commenters of trying to "break the internet" KK-style by taking us back to his college football days in a #ThrowbackThursday photo posted today.

Writes Sims:

Holy #ThrowbackThursday! This was taken in September 2000, a few hours before the first game of my senior year at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. We were in Tennessee for the NCAA Kick-Off Classic to start the season. #tbt

A few comments on the photo of uniformed Sims in the half-shirt, which already has nearly 5,000 likes and more than 125 shares:

"Are YOU trying to break the Internet?"

"And about 400,000 of your gay followers just fainted dead away..."

"Please do a magazine cover like that Kardashian monster. Make me forget I ever saw her backside."

We think he scored.

UPDATE: Sims' share caused a bit of a kerfuffle, which he responded to in a statement to HuffPost:

"It's a funny, tummy picture of me in socks and sandals. I'm also incredibly proud of my college football career and it's definitely informed a lot of who I am. I'm not sorry if a guy in a football uniform 15 years ago bothers anyone or makes them question the substance of the work I do. Frankly, when a lousy, do-nothing Congress is polling at 10 percent but has a 90 percent re-election rate, I'd suggest we're measuring our elected by the wrong standards already. In truth, women have had their credibility "questioned" by guys who only knew how to sexualize them for thousands of years. It's like saying "I find you attractive so you can't have my respect too." Am I surprised to see it happening to a guy in 2014. Not so much."


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

Sam.Michael

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.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged