May 10, 2014 was a historic day in the history of sports as the St. Louis Rams drafted the first openly gay football player, Michael Sam.
Each of us has our own field of dreams as we hope and dream of having success in what we love to do. Whether it is having success between the lines on a football field or on the baseball diamond or in the work place, it is high time that one’s ability to perform be the determining factor rather than the color of a person’s skin, a person’s religious beliefs or a person’s sexuality.
Like Jackie Robinson before him, Michael Sam, will not find the path to being accepted for his skill as a football player an easy one. Bigotry and hate exist, but this is an important starting point, in including another group of what was once a socially unacceptable minority. A person’s skill and character are more important than a what color your skin might be or your sexual preference. What counts is how a person performs and what kind of teammate Michael Sam will be.
Let us hope that we have grown as a culture to the point that Mr. Sam will not have to undergo the indignities that Jackie Robinson had to face. Without the social advances that sports has provided, we Americans, would have never enjoyed Michael Jordan who performed in his own field of dreams, a basketball court or Henry Aaron’s 715th home run. Sports is a great equalizer for it is how you perform and compete that determines how you as an individual can reach your own individual dreams. May we continue to break all of the remaining glass ceilings!