Michael Sam’s CFL debut: Americans, take note!

Michael Sam is seen at press conference after signing with the Montreal Alouettes in spring of 2015. (Photo: Michael Sam/Facebook)
Michael Sam is seen at press conference after signing with the Montreal Alouettes in spring of 2015. (Photo: Michael Sam/Facebook)

“Michael Sam is 1st openly gay man to play in CFL regular season game”

You can be forgiven if that headline over a CBC article makes you wince a little bit — assuming, of course, that the reaction is because you feel the CBC headline milked this story just a little too much.

It was a significant event, and every media outlet had to make note of it — though not all chose to do so with headlines like the CBC’s.

Most didn’t have the word “gay” in their headlines. But all did play up the fact early in their reports that Sam — an American — is the first openly gay person to play a CFL game, and it was worth noting because it marks another victory in the quest for acceptance of LGBT people.

In a perfect world, a person’s sexual orientation would be irrelevant to all but that individual and partner — and for many Canadians, that is the case. But gay and lesbian people still face discrimination in the workplace and other public places — especially in the United States.

Hopefully, Sam’s acceptance by the Montreal Alouettes, the Canadian Football League and by Canadians in general will send a message back home to the National Football League and Americans in general.

Canadians should be proud of themselves — but not too proud. After all, we are just doing the right thing.

I gotta wonder, though: Will the first openly bisexual pro football player get as much publicity as Michael Sam did?

P.S. Sam and the Alouettes lost to the Ottawa Redblacks 26-23 in Friday evening’s game.

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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One thought on “Michael Sam’s CFL debut: Americans, take note!”

  1. Homophobia in football isn’t restricted to North America. In world football coming out can be career ending. Robbie Rogers, was a winger for Leeds then Los Angeles. Coming out in 2013 ended his career. FIFA has since taken a supportive stance but most gay players remain in the closet. A recent poll showed that the majority of fans support gay players in the game so there is some hope in the greater world. Hopefully, North America will follow the lead.

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