---- — To the editor:
Soon the NFL will begin the draft of college players in hopes of bettering their rosters with talent they believe will enhance their chances of playing in the Super Bowl.
A great many will not survive the preseason and will be cut from the signing team. Millions will be paid to these young men for their talents and their abilities to be better than the other guy. Now there is nothing wrong with being better. We know it as the “American way.” We are taught to work hard, develop our skills and believe that being better than the next guy will get us further ahead.
I have no idea, therefore, why a person’s sexual preference has anything to do with his talent or his ability. Before we set off a firestorm of negativity, I am not a basher, I am not a hater, I just do not believe that a sexual lifestyle had anything to do with earning a week’s pay to keep a family fed.
Michael Sam hopes he will be drafted, and he should be if he has what a team is looking for, the same talent and ability that made him noticeable to scouts for various teams. His talent and ability on the field are the only things that count, nothing else.
Mr. Sam’s private life is Mr.Sam’s private life. I do not believe Sam should be judged because he happens to be Catholic or Baptist or Islamic or Native American. His talent and ability do not know religion, sexual differences, color or nationality. Those and only those are what he should be judged, as they were for the thousands who came before him.
We all know that it takes a special athlete to compete and survive in the NFL. Any number of trophy winners have not survived more than three years in the NFL. Their religion or race had nothing to do with their being cut; it was their talent and ability that came up short. A time will come when Sam will be cut from one team or another.
Will he accept that his talent and ability were what he was judged on, not his color, college team, religion, nationality or sexual orientation?
If Sam does make the cut and succeeds in making it onto the team that selects him, he will need the courage of a Jackie Robinson. In his early years, Robinson’s talent and ability showed the American public that black players were just as talented, if not more so, as their white counterparts. And he suffered ridicule and bigotry as he sought to prove that he was worthy of playing in the “big show.”
We shall see if Sam is cut from the same cloth or end up as a remnant as so many do, and it will have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with his sexual orientation.