When I saw that NFL hopeful Michael Sam had announced that he is gay, my first thought was that Seattle would be a great place for him. Our coach has already shown he's open to medical marijuana being introduced in the NFL, and while the issues aren't really related, I think it shows that Pete is every bit the progressive man he seems to be. To be yourself is all that you can do, and Pete is a guy that understands that. Embraces it.
I have to imagine the importance of this particular announcement might transcend the notion that Pete would like to avoid controversy in his locker room. Add that to the fact that by the time training camp starts, half this storm will be overwith, and I don't think it'd be much of an issue for Pete. One Seahawk player has already taken to twitter to back Sam's move:
There is no room for bigotry in American sports. It takes courage to change the culture.— Malcolm Smith (@MalcSmitty) February 10, 2014
This is coming from a player that has spent more time in Pete Carroll locker rooms than most anyone you could find in the NFL.
Beyond my thoughts on whether or not Michael Sam might be welcome in the Seahawks locker room, are my thoughts on the man himself. There is a courage required in this act that cannot be overstated. There is no personal gain to be had for this young man, only potential loss. There is already one scout that has said draft boards will shift because of it.
What team is about to fire their regional scout? pic.twitter.com/TVixrIWMyj— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanDN) February 10, 2014
I have been waiting a long time for a man to step forward in this manner, and expected it to be a veteran, someone with only one foot left in the league's door. That it's a man who has yet to even enter an NFL locker room speaks volumes about his character.
Let's be clear, Michael Sam is most assuredly not the first homosexual to play in the National Football League, and he certainly won't be the last. I am hoping that whatever team he ends up on has a fanbase that will be capable of showering him with the support he deserves, so we can just hurry to the point where this sort of announcement is a non-issue.