Now, many will say, “But Michael Sam is no star! He never even played in a real game!”
This is true. But think about what happens in the Oscars: Hollywood doesn’t tell us what you liked, Hollywood tells us what they liked. That’s how the story of an obscure superhero, making less than $40 million (“Birdman”), can win best picture over the true story of an American hero that made over ten times that amount (“American Sniper”). Michael Sam is the liberal sports media’s “Birdman”: a passion project that represents an alternative to the likes and unsophisticated, misguided morality of the unenlightened masses.
In “Bias in the Booth,” a book that goes in-depth to reveal the true intentions of the liberal sports media, I prove how the only “barriers” Michael Sam crashed through were imagined, not real. Michael Sam did not endure bullying on the level of Richie Incognito when he entered the NFL. On the contrary, the NFL, frightened to death by the idea of starting the league year with Michael Sam left off a roster, broke every known existing protocol by contacting teams and actively encouraging them to put Sam on their practice squads.
The same reporters who labored so intensively to end Tim Tebow’s career and keep Rush Limbaugh out of the NFL now openly rejoiced at the opportunity presented to them by Sam—someone who embodied the gay agenda they all revere, not the Christian ethos they so revile.
Excited as they are, though, the media have a problem with Michael Sam. Not only, by NFL standards, is he not a good football player, he’s a terrible crusader. The media have an easier time selling trailblazers and barrier-breakers to the public if the trailblazer in question is pure of motive and simply an athlete who wants to play football and happens to be gay, black, transgendered, a unicorn, whatever.
No one, Sam included, can with a straight face make the case that he’s “just a guy who wants to play football.” Oprah’s producers camping out in his then-boyfriend’s living room to get draft-reaction footage for a documentary he never told teams about was bad enough. The “Stand with Sam” T-shirts he sold weren’t such a great look either.
This “DWTS” appearance takes it to a whole other level. “Dancing with the Stars” airs one week before the start of the first NFL veteran combine, a chance for guys who tried and failed to get into the league to once again prove that they belong. It’s quite possibly the last opportunity many of them will ever get to live their dream of playing in the league.
So, as these veterans work out eleventy million hours a day preparing for this all-important last-ditch “Hail Mary” attempt to get back in the league, Michael Sam will be doing the merengue on the small screen alongside Olympic champ Nastia Liukin. Oh sure, Sam plans to attend the veterans combine as well. Why, would he turn down another opportunity for the media to gush over him? But he’s now a b-list celebrity more than he is a football player. That will tell NFL teams all they need to know about where Sam’s heart truly is. It should tell you all you need to know too.
Michael Sam failed as a trailblazer because he was more activist than trailblazer. Even his poor play on the field would have made him a sympathetic figure to the public had there been the slightest shred of sincerity to him at all.
It should not surprise anyone that ABC, parent network to ESPN, are the ones inviting Sam onto their prime-time lineup. ESPN, essentially the sports equivalent of uber-liberal MSNBC, were the ones that notoriously broadcasted Sam’s lip-lock with his boyfriend on a continuous loop after the draft.
The month of March will likely see Michael Sam dancing on the grave of his last real shot at making it in the NFL. But it’s probably all for the best; he was always a better professional activist than he was a professional football player.
Dylan Gwinn is the author of Bias in the Booth: An Insider Exposes How the Sports Media Distort the News. He is also a talk show host on Yahoo! Sports Radio.