Wednesday marked one of the biggest award shows of the year, at least for the sporting community, in the ESPYs over on ESPN, and it also provided an opportunity for non-athletes to see if this can be turned into fairly compelling television.
One story that continues to make headlines around the country, though, is Michael Sam. There are many who love him for his courage as the first openly-gay player in the NFL, and there are also those who feel like he is just garnering attention after a planned OWN documentary show went away. Everyone will have their own opinion, but the ESPYs spoke loudly when they decided to award Sam the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his decision to make his orientation clear in hopes of inspiring others.
For his part, Sam has been nothing but thrilled with the reaction to him joining the NFL, which is probably aided by the fact that he was used to the hate and the negative accusations beforehand. Speaking to ESPN before the show he discussed about working with the St. Louis Rams in the time since the draft:
“It’s been very positive … [Me and coach Jeff Fisher] talked all about football, because that’s what matters. I was not trying to make history, I’m just trying to make an NFL roster. They have had my back since day one.”
This is one part of Sam’s story that has been ignored by many, that he still has a ways to go before he can officially even be a part of a pro football roster. He has to rely on his merits on the field to be a part of the team, and we’ll have to see where that goes.
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