, Muskogee, OK


May 17, 2014

Ability should be what matters

Pro football rookie Michael Sam deserves the same opportunity we all deserve — to prove his worth in the workplace.

Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the National Football League’s college draft last week.

Sam is an Associated Press All-America defensive end and a Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

He also could become the first openly gay player in the NFL if he makes the team out of training camp this summer.

Sam came out to his teammates at the University of Missouri last year. He came out to the rest of the world following the end of the 2013 college football season.

His sexuality created a stir. Some people suggested a player of Sam’s pedigree would have been drafted earlier if he had remained in the closet.

This editorial is not about whether governments should recognize gay marriage — although it appears with every passing court case that any law banning gay marriage is going to get overturned.

This is in no way suggesting that religions must marry homosexuals.

People have a God-given right to their beliefs.

But Sam deserves the opportunity to prove his ability on the football field — his workplace.

His sexuality won’t matter when he puts on pads and his helmet.

Sam will be like every other football player when the play begins. His ability and nothing else will matter when the hitting starts.

He will succeed or fail based on his athletic ability and determination.

That’s what we all deserve.

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