A reader writes:
If Michael Sam is drafted by a well-coached/managed team, and if he can sack quarterbacks and hard-hit running backs, he’ll be just fine. Remember the handwringing of conservatives when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ended in 2011? OMG the showers, the showers, the showers – straight guys atremble at the thought of a gay guy ogling their schlongs. Crickets.
The old men of the NFL are trotting out the same tired arguments the codgers in the Pentagon got away with for years. The military fretted about “unit cohesion.” This week, the charge sounds comically pettier: They keep referring to telling the truth as a “distraction.” Both old guards feign horror at nakedness in the showers—as if most straight men in America haven’t pulled their dicks out at a urinal beside a gay guy in the last week.
[Sportswriter Rob] Rang copped to the comparison: “There remains a bit of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy” in the NFL he wrote. A bit? That’s precisely the unwritten policy every gay player has adhered to in the history of the NFL. You can be gay, as long as you lie about it. … I’ve spent years following a handful of gay soldiers, and the lengths they went to hide the truth—big and especially small—were mind-boggling.
They start with de-gaying the house. A lieutenant colonel described rushing home to de-gay before hosting his unit’s Christmas party: Hide pictures with gay friends and any iffy music or magazines. An Ani DiFranco or Tori Amos can be neutralized with a hefty country section or heavy metal. “Lighting and bathroom products—those were the biggest tells,” the officer said. “Not too many lamps—too much dim lighting screamed lady friend!” No more than two or three hair “products.” Bonus points for Pert Plus or Vaseline Intensive Care; no rejuvenating lotion or eye cream, and never ever anything labeled Clinique.
Football is actually less uber-macho than the army, and Michael Sam probably could have gotten away with a Clinique bottle, especially if he balanced it with enough NASCAR and Bud Light. But he had a boyfriend. That gets really tough, especially once the guy moves in. “Roommate” is the obvious alibi, but that introduces surprisingly-complex new lies.
Read all of the Dish’s coverage of Michael Sam here. One more reader:
Did I miss something or has nobody commented on the exquisite timing of Michael Sam’s announcement coming right after the opening of Sochi/Putin’s Anti-Gay Winter Olympics?