Will the Liberal Sports Media Ruin Football?

Social Agendas Being Pushed More Frequently

Jason Miller Getty Images

Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, the biggest story from most football fanatic perspective was where Johnny Manziel - the hyperactive throwing and running sensation known as Johnny Football - would land. The Texas A&M Heisman trophy winner would end up being drafted by the Cleveland Browns, and as such we offer him condolences, but he was not the story the increasingly liberal social-agenda driven media was interested in.

No, that honor went to a defensive player most fans probably couldn't name before February 2014. This player wasn't a top prospect and was projected as the 20th-ish best prospect at his position. That player was Michael Sam and he became a media sensation by announcing his sexual orientation to the public, because rolling out the red carpet for every person who does so is now the new normal.

Did the Media Cause Sam to Fall to the Bottom of the Draft?

Before the draft, I questioned what team would want to deal with the media fallout after drafting Michael Sam. Countless stories had already been written over teams being "afraid" to have gay players on their teams. The sports media obsessed over what a "big step forward" it would be for football. They questioned if Sam's sexuality would cause him to drop from being a low-range draft pick to a lower-range draft pick. As the draft began, they announced with every passing pick that Sam still wasn't drafted, even long before he was supposed to be drafted anyway.

And at this point, for most teams considering drafting Sam on the basis that he might pan out, decided that dealing with the media just wouldn't be worth it.

Sam's sexuality was now his most important attribute. It wasn't his football ability or what he could bring to a team on the field. Sam wasn't going to be drafted and the media would exclaim: "Well, that team just filled a need on their defensive unit." I wondered, as I guess many organization probably did, what team would want to deal with the coming media obsession for a player considered undersized for the position he played in college and too slow for the one he wanted to transition to.

After watching the media frenzy over Sam before he was on a football team, they knew what was coming and probably decided it wasn't worth it. (The St. Louis Rams eventually pulled the trigger with their 10th pick in the draft, perhaps lowering expectations that he might make a final roster anyway.)

And what will the Rams probably have to deal with? Endless questioning and harassment over Sam's sexual orientation! What fun! The head coach will be questioned endlessly about Sam, a 7th round pick who has less than even odds at making the roster. (Sort of a Tebow effect, except that you could criticize Tebow all day for any reason because he's "just a Christian.") The star players will constantly be asked "what is it like to have a gay team-mate" and they will have to know the exact and politically-correct phrases to use at all times. Players could be fined and sent to "sensitivity training" if they say anything negative about him.

Your star QB and defensive players will be answering questions about him, and let's just hope they don't say the wrong thing. Some will probably get frustrated at being asked all the time, at which point the media will probably find a way to make those players seem homophobic: "Joe QB sure was testy when we asked him about Sam, proving not everyone is comfortable with gay teammates." Then Joe QB will be off to sensitivity training, too.

Toss in the possibility of film crews, thanks to a new Oprah-produced reality show, and what isn't to love? (The show was axed after it was revealed Sam didn't disclose that a series was in the works, leading to complaints from surprised supporters on the football side that it showed his agenda is more social-driven than football-driven.) And if Sam doesn't make the roster? And if Sam doesn't get picked up by another team? And if someone blocks Sam to hard or lands an illegal hit on him? Then what?

Media Sideshow: Not the First Obsession

In a ideal world, the media would stop making a big deal each time someone announces who they like to sleep with. We are at the point where the President personally calls and congratulates athletes based solely on their sexual orientation. They call this "progress." They say they want gay players to be treated equally, like there is nothing different about them, but then turn every announcement into a media circus that last months and months.

Isn't the liberal reaction to all of this supposed to be to treat these athletes like everyone else? Instead, they obsess over every no-name NBA player and Division III football kicker from a college no one has ever heard of. The "progressive" sports media went nuts ahead of the 2013 football season when a group of NFL stars were allegedly going to come out together. It never happened, but it led to speculation of who was and who wasn't, eventually leading to star QB Aaron Rogers being forced to announce that he likes women, "a lot."

Michael Sam may turn out to be a steal for the St. Louis Rams. Outside of the liberal sports media and liberal activist groups, I haven't spoken to many football fans who care one way or the other about him. The obsession of whether or not Sam will be accepted by fans isn't an obsession of the fans, it's of the liberal sports media. This obsession lasted throughout the draft, making the coverage mostly unwatchable. Bob Costas already has millions of fans running to their remotes during the halftime show of Sunday Night games as he trots out to give his politically-fueled segments on guns or the racist nature of the Washington Redskins. And we already know what his first segment will be about this year, don't we? I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't have a Separation of Sports and Politics clause, but maybe it should.