TAUBE: Football player Michael Sam’s sexual preference is irrelevant

To quote from Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen’s popular rant, which has been widely viewed on YouTube, “I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay. I don’t understand his world. But I do understand that he’s part of mine.” Well said.

There’s another important point to this story, however. Mr. Sam’s decision to announce he’s homosexual prior to the start of his pro football career could end up being a huge risk.

Some NFL teams may pass on drafting him. It’s not due to intolerance, but rather the huge potential controversy that will undoubtedly follow his every move. Like it or not, it’s a public-relations nightmare that most people would try to sidestep.

Meanwhile, the team that ultimately picks him must hope and pray his career turns out well. If Mr. Sam has a stellar rookie season, it will benefit everyone.

If it turns out to be a bust, followed by another lackluster season or two, what will the public’s reaction be when they decide to release or trade him? Your guess is as good as mine.

Michael Sam’s career stats, rather than his sexual orientation, should ultimately be the defining factor. Yet his decision to make a sexual issue as important as his football prowess means he’ll be observed and judged on a different scale.

This may not be fair or justified. At the same time, it was his choice to make this noncontroversy into something controversial.

Michael Taube is a contributor to The Washington Times.

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