Former NFL players and coaches and other professional football pundits have been commenting on the news that former Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football player and NFL prospect, is gay.
Much of the commentary has been positive. There have been a few players who have expressed concern over a gay man seeing their pee pee in the locker room while they dress, and some, including Sam’s own father, have spoken out against his homosexuality, but these kinds of comment have been in the minority.
There has also been much talk over whether or not Sam’s decision to announce publicly that he is gay will impact his draft status. Will teams be less likely to take him because of the distraction that he will create?
The word “distraction” is used all the time in NFL circles. Former players and coaches are especially fond of talking about the importance of maintaining routines and limiting the distractions to players and the organizations.
The word is used all the time.
It leads me to think that for some reason, NFL players are the most distractible people on the planet.
Even though they are required to stand at podiums every week, answering questions from reporters, and even though they perform their job in stadiums filled with screaming, angry, drunken, profane fans while millions of others watch at home on television, the idea that a reporter may ask them how they feel about a gay man in the locker room (even though there have likely been many gay men in locker rooms with them in the past) will somehow impede their ability to run fast or catch a ball or tackle an opponent.
Who knows? Possibly a gay opponent.
It seems to me that the NFL needs to invest in Adderall. This level of distractibility can only mean that the majority of NFL players suffer from attention deficit disorder.
Medication, rather than the de-valuing of an NFL prospect because of his sexual orientation, may be the answer.