February 10, 2014

"That the media is making such a big deal out of Sam may seem a little strange, particularly to those who are and have always been down with the gay folks."

"It’s helpful to consider the idea that we’re writing the last chapter in a very lengthy book of American history. The advancement and acceptance of an openly gay male pro athlete (sorry pioneering ladies – we know you were first) is the final stage of cultural acceptance of gay people living openly and happily without having to hide who they are. The Onion, in their usual fashion, made a joke out of it in August that’s funny but insightful: 'Area Teen Quickly Running Out Of Chances To Be First Openly Gay Anything.'"

Scott Shackford, in Reason.

In other words: Things that should already be too boring to mention and will be soon.

47 comments:

Carl Pham said...

That's because the media hate the NFL and its viewers, what they see as the last bastion of the patriarchy. Well, next to last, but every time they go after the NRA they get badly burned.

They love the idea of seeing the NFL teams squirm, as they ponder the firestorm of stories should this guy not be drafted at what he considers an acceptable level.

And that is, of course, why Sam made the "announcement" (his teammates already knew anyway), just as the teams gear up to see who they're going to draft in May. He is, in essence, daring them to not draft him where he wants to go, in the face of that media shitstorm.

It's a risk, though, because any team that takes him knows he's not above using this fact to advance his career in ways other than playing football well. Future headline: "First Openly Gay NFL Lineman Sidelined For Bowl Game : 'They SAY it's because my stats aren't good enough, but...'"
The teams have to balance his playing quality against his cynicism, and take a guess at future social attitudes, to know how much longer the gambit will work. Tricky.

madAsHell said...

Men don't like to be viewed as sex objects in the locker room.

Jay said...

When Sam drops in the draft, and he may very well, the media will be super-duper-interested.

All wee-weed-up, you might say.

David said...

I'm waiting for Betamax to bring us the Ghost Of Dinah Shore.

I'd do it but I know when I'm outclassed.

SteveR said...

To some, the only and therefore last significant "first' in sports was Jackie Robinson way back when.

gadfly said...

"Michael Sam's father said Monday he had no idea his football-star son was gay until he got a text from him on his birthday last week."

So where is this "openly gay" footballer coming from? Worse, he was just dropped from the prospect lists of at least half of the NFL teams who otherwise might have been interested in him.

Right now there are hundreds of ex-college athletes working out with special coaches to ready them for the tests to come at the NFL Combine - and he is yammering to the press.

The gay folks that I worked with and who have worked for me, over the years, were some of the smartest people I have ever met but this guy is an idiot.

Titus said...

Where did he get cock in Colombia Mo?

Titus said...

Geez, geezers, New England is definitely going to pick him up.

I am thankful that he wasn't a white qback, punter or kicker.

madAsHell said...

Well, it's Monday, so I can pretend to be a football expert.

He's a 'tweener. His skill set is defensive tackle, but his physical parameters say outside linebacker. He's beTWEEN the usual prototypes.

His stock in the draft will depend upon his foot speed, and if he will be able to execute pass coverage on the back coming out of the backfield.

But that won't stop the talking heads screaming homophobia!!

Shouting Thomas said...

The whole gay line of crap you've been dishing out for years, Althouse, has only convinced me that living in an academic environment paralyzes one into a lifelong teenager.

Homophobia is a bullshit term used to describe the natural desire of parents for grandchildren of their own blood. As in most things, you continue to identify with the needs of children, rather than those of parents. In fact, I can't recall you ever commenting on the needs of parents.

There was no campaign of persecution and violence against gays. You fabricated that in a transparent attempt to confer favored status and quota goodies on the people you like. What actually happened was the AIDS epidemic, which created a need to find a way to provide health insurance for partners of guys who died of AIDS.

You're the one with a gay problem, Althouse. The rest of America, outside of that re-education camp you inhabit is sophisticated and sensible. You've been a foolish child.

You're vanity is what this has all been about... the vanity that you are involved in a "cultural revolution," that you are Suze strolling down the street with Bobby as he writes folk broadsides, that you are fighting for freedom for the oppressed.

What a load of bullshit it's been from you, Althouse.

You and your childish friends in the re-education camp are the problem.

gk1 said...

This is like the Redskin name change thing. Those who hate the NFL or otherwise indifferent getting wee weed up over something real fans care little about. Maybe they can move on to "fair trade" Budweiser sold in the concessions or LEED certified stadium buildings.

mccullough said...

The Redskins should draft him.

Shouting Thomas said...

Rent seeking lawyers create problems for lawyers to fix, thus creating employment for rent seeking lawyers.

You are the gatekeeper to that system, Althouse.

You are the man. You are the oppressor.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

I keep wondering if anyone knows American history, let alone anything else. Or maybe some Brit Fic - Anthony Burgess's The Wanting Seed? Permissiveness is cyclical - not linear. Remember the Gay 90s? That's 1890s. Roaring 20s? Before those there were the Victorians. Before those, them Victoria and her culture reacted against. The 1950s? The Counter-Reformation? Please don't believe in uni-directional change before you revisit your college history textbooks.

Lucien said...

As long as you're comfortable with the idea that NFL players are less mature than Sam's University of Missouri teammates, then this could be a thing.

Drago said...

Can fans of whatever team drafts Sam be held liable if they choose to not attend the games?

FullMoon said...

@Carl

And that is, of course, why Sam made the "announcement" (his teammates already knew anyway), just as the teams gear up to see who they're going to draft in May. He is, in essence, daring them to not draft him where he wants to go, in the face of that media shitstorm.

My first thoughts also.

It's a risk, though, because any team that takes him knows he's not above using this fact to advance his career in ways other than playing football well. Future headline: "First Openly Gay NFL Lineman Sidelined For Bowl Game : 'They SAY it's because my stats aren't good enough, but...'"
The teams have to balance his playing quality against his cynicism, and take a guess at future social attitudes, to know how much longer the gambit will work. Tricky.

My first thoughts also. All the attention, all of the time

Birches said...

Permissiveness is cyclical - not linear.

True.

And most NFL players and fans don't give a crap if the guy can play. But the media will amplify this until the end of time, because "it's important!"

Titus said...

Will his "husband" sit with the other athletes wifes?

Titus said...

My biggest interest in this story is if he is a bossy yet voracious bottom OR domineering top.

n.n said...

In their haste to normalize and leverage homosexual behavior, the activists are now guilty of arbitrary discrimination against other behaviors, relationships, and associations. The civil and human rights movements are thoroughly corrupt for-profit enterprises.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The Only Gay in the Village

eric said...

You know this guy can't be that good when the main thing everyone talks about is where he sticks his penis.

No one cares. Shut up and play football.

PB Reader said...

Someone comes out as gay? So what? I really don't care. Play the damn game and STFU.

Drago said...

eric: "You know this guy can't be that good when the main thing everyone talks about is where he sticks his penis."

He's pretty good, but his skill set does fall "outside" some of the standard position descriptions.

If you are a GM (General Manager, not layabout waitin' for handouts Garage Mahal) then you will have to be very cognizant of the firestorm that will erupt if you draft the guy and he doesn't work out.

Let's face it, you can just see the lawsuit a mile away if the guy doesn't make the grade and has to be cut.

No, I don't believe his announcement is "battlespace prep".

But it is a reality that will have to be addressed by the teams leadership.

glenn said...

Don't do it in the street, it frightens the horses.

Unknown in Victorian England.

sunsong said...

Meanwhile from
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill:

A Shift In History

In the 9th Circuit, "the court found that potential jurors could not be excluded from jury duty based on sexual orientation, extending to gays and lesbians a civil right that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously promised only to women and racial minorities" reported the Las Vegas Sun as the Nevada Attorney General concluded that she could no longer defend the Nevada law banning same sex marriages. The Republican Governor announced that the law was no longer defensible and supported the decision.

US Attorney, Eric Holder, announced over the weekend that the federal government would assure equal rights in federal legal functions and institutions even in States not recognizing same sex marriages. Effectively creating two legal outcomes for one person depending on the particular forum.

Virginia Attorney General has already announced that he will not defend his state's same sex-ban on constitutional grounds.

The developments are instructive and begin to outline the challenge for those who oppose same sex marriages. The Windsor decision's recognition of a 5th amendment individual liberty interest as a matter of the federal constitution is now old news. The 9th Circuits recognition of sexual orientation safeguards in jury selection in the same class as gender and race is highly significant in the inherent status recognized by the court. The dichotomy created in the unequal, separate, and isolated treatment of people in legal dealings in federal and state courts foretells an inevitable collision.

The legal obstacles are dwindling. So it comes down to compelling, persuasive policy truths that must be beyond interpretative dispositions of historical relativism. The argument that children, families and society benefit NOT from marriage alone but from a particular type of marriage only, that is, husband-wife is a double edged sword. It admits that there is nothing unique about marriage but rather about a certain coupling that gives value to marriage. So it is not the institution, standing alone, but a particular combination...
continued...

sunsong said...

Sim Gill continued

...It is an interesting turn of events. Gays are pro marriage and the other side is not pro marriage but opposite sex coupling. In essence, they are saying that marriage gets its value from certain people not as an institution itself. Gays, however, are saying that the institution itself has value independent of the sex of the people involved. That is, the institution compliments the participants, standing alone, by the commitments it demands to honor the solemnization. The opponents want to say that the people's opposite sex by necessity gives value to the institution. An interesting turn of events.

The problem is that opposite sex coupling is NOT a necessary condition, people know this intuitively, empirically and through our social history. It is necessary for the procreative process and even the opponents of gay marriages know that they can no longer make that as an exclusive argument. There are too many people unable to procreate or simply choose not to do so and to say their marriages are less than others is both an insult and a losing argument.

So here is a prediction as the bricks in the wall of antiquated history fall the arguments will evolve from children to families to society and the utter dissolution of ordered government itself. Each escalation betraying the shrill of losing reason and the desperation from the knowledge that history is moving not towards you but away from you. This is what a shift in history feels like, pay attention it will exact a price and demand courage from all of us.



Owen said...

@sunsong: cloudy logic, question-begging, triumphalist bloviation. But otherwise very interesting.

B said...

I'm not sure I understand sunsong's point. Is Sam trying to marry into an NFL team? I understand that gay marriage through judicial fiat in Utah is her shining hope but that is completely tangential to the discussion and will just hijack the thread.

Henry said...

I was gratified last night at the overwhelmingly positive support for Sam on the local sportstalk show (WEEI, Boston). At least one marine and one seaman called in to report that the idea that sexual orientation had anything to do with toughness, cohesion or the ability of a fellow to his (or her) job was nonsense.

The other common theme was that if Sam did drop in the draft that would be pretty awesome for the Patriots, who could then get him as a value pick.

From what I've read Sam is considered undersized for his position in the NFL, but gets high grades for smarts, versatility and "motor". He may not be a four-down lineman, but not many linemen are.

Good NFL teams know that to get value from middle- and late-round picks, you look for guys who can specialize in specific down and distance situations.

Henry said...

And that is, of course, why Sam made the "announcement" (his teammates already knew anyway), just as the teams gear up to see who they're going to draft in May. He is, in essence, daring them to not draft him where he wants to go, in the face of that media shitstorm.

Or, Sam is anticipating the interview mill at the combines, where GMs and coaches are going to try to figure out "character" by a boatload of personal questions. You married? You're not married? Have a girlfriend? Why not? The scout in Moneyball who suggests a player must lack confidence because his girlfriend is ugly is closer to the truth than you might think.

jr565 said...

If he didn't come out as gay, would his story be interesting? he's not going to be a first round draft pick. Not to say that he's a bad player, but rather a middle of the pack player.

And then him coming out strikes me as more of a means of getting publicity.

jr565 said...

As he makes it known, the players on his team didn't really care and were ok with it. It really has nothing to do with his ability to play or not play. But his being gay doesn't make him special either.
I'm getting tired of the whole "coming out is brave" argument. Gays have been out for ages. And even if they weren't out people knew they were gay and usually didn't care.
Elton John for example always struck me as gay. He didn't come out for ages though. Meanwhile he still sold millions of records.

There are some people who are completely intolerant, true. But even among hateful republicans most could care less about whether you're gay or not.

jr565 said...

And if you come out you have media saying "you're so brave!" It's not as if there is a downside to coming out or the environment is made difficult for coming out.

sunsong said...

B,

What I am for is full equality for gays. If that happens through the courts - that's fine with me. That's what the courts are for, imo. Justice.

If the courts find that Obama has overstepped in such decisions as recess appointments or birth control mandates to the Sisters of the Poor, or attempting to gut the second amendment etc - that is also what the courts are for. We have three co-equal branches of government by design. And btw, I do think that Utah will lose :-)

Owen said...

@sunsong: your vision of how the judicial system should work is somewhere between depressing and terrifying. Why must we clog the system with cases brought after the fact on a hit-or-miss basis by oddball litigants at great expense in the Judicial Lotto, simply to correct a series of deliberate and systematic abuses and usurpations by the executive branch?

For you it seems to be about vindicating some abstract notion of "justice" as defined by a narrow interest group; and you seem to think it will play out in a perfect Broadway moment, with your favored protagonist emerging at the top of the courthouse steps and beaming at the camera crews about "Freedom! Freedom at last!"

You seem to care nothing about the collateral damage and unintended consequences of your endless campaigns of lawfare. That's sad. IMHO.

jr565 said...

sunsong wrote:
The 9th Circuits recognition of sexual orientation safeguards in jury selection in the same class as gender and race is highly significant in the inherent status recognized by the court. The dichotomy created in the unequal, separate, and isolated treatment of people in legal dealings in federal and state courts foretells an inevitable collision.

But whether you can sit on a jury is a different question than whether and who you can marry.
Could someone who was in a polygamous relationship, though not a marriage serve on a jury for example? Could someone dating their sister sit on a jury? Could those same people marry?

jr565 said...

sunsong wrote:
"So it comes down to compelling, persuasive policy truths that must be beyond interpretative dispositions of historical relativism. The argument that children, families and society benefit NOT from marriage alone but from a particular type of marriage only, that is, husband-wife is a double edged sword. It admits that there is nothing unique about marriage but rather about a certain coupling that gives value to marriage. So it is not the institution, standing alone, but a particular combination"

This is poppycock. County district attorney Sam Gill sounds like a complete moron. Does he even believe this? Do those pushing for gay marriage believe this?
Because if they do why are they pushing for gay marriage that is defined as two people. If three gay people wanted to apply for a marriage license would Sam retard gill say that they should be married, or would he rightly say that marriage is between two people? So then " So it is not the institution, standing alone, but a particular combination" Correct?
That's the way it's always been. Polygamists can "marry" and say that marriage means polygamy. NO.
This guy should not be a district attorney if he's going to argue such piffle.

jr565 said...

In essence, they are saying that marriage gets its value from certain people not as an institution itself. Gays, however, are saying that the institution itself has value independent of the sex of the people involved. That is, the institution compliments the participants, standing alone, by the commitments it demands to honor the solemnization. The opponents want to say that the people's opposite sex by necessity gives value to the institution. An interesting turn of events."
Well yes. That's why marriage is between a man and a woman and not two men and a woman. Marriage does not mean whatever those who want to marry think it means. Who gets married is important. And so, you can't marry your sister. And so you can't marry a dog. And so you can't marry two additional people. And so you can't have two marriages.
And my guess, sungsong, is that both you and the district attorney also believe that marriage can be restricted in all those other cases exactly the way it has. So then, his argument is completely bogus.

jr565 said...

"
The problem is that opposite sex coupling is NOT a necessary condition, people know this intuitively, empirically and through our social history. It is necessary for the procreative process and even the opponents of gay marriages know that they can no longer make that as an exclusive argument. There are too many people unable to procreate or simply choose not to do so and to say their marriages are less than others is both an insult and a losing argument."
Making marriage be between a man and a woman because they are the ones who raise the kids they have is not contingent on requiring that two people actually be able to have kids. THere's no litmus test that says you can only marry if you can have a kid.
Society simply made the case that its a man and woman that can have kids. And therefore because society doesn't want to raise peoples bastards, that the people who have the kids should raise the kids. And all the laws surroudning custody are similarly biologically based?
Who gets the kid? Who pays the support? The people who the kids belong to biologically.
If you had a gay couple and one of them was the biological parent the other would by necessity be a step parent. But biologically the other parent is the one who provided the DNA.
This is also why marriage is between two people and not, say three people. Becauase it's still two people and two people only that have kids. Trying to figure out where that third parent fits in and what custody should be granted becomes a problematic thing.
Its not that gay marriage (unlike say polygamy)is a social harm. But it doesn't promote the social good of having a framework to raise your kids in. And that's why marriage was so defined, long before anyone ever thought restricting gays would be a great idea. Logically the same reason marriage would be between a man and a woman still holds.
Society doesn't care if you are sterile or are in love.

sunsong said...

Owen,

Most all of your comment appears to be telling me what you think I think and then attacking me. Obviously you don't know me. If you did you would know I find that boring.

jr565 said...

"The argument that children, families and society benefit NOT from marriage alone but from a particular type of marriage only, that is, husband-wife is a double edged sword"
So then why are we denying polygamy again? Is polygamy not a specific type of marriage? Why are we fixated on two people and two people alone, when more than two people may similarly be beneficial. Yet, my guess is, if asked about polygamy he'd have no problem continuing to ban polygamy. Or any other marriage that would continue to be banned.

jr565 said...

Gays, however, are saying that the institution itself has value independent of the sex of the people involved. That is, the institution compliments the participants, standing alone, by the commitments it demands to honor the solemnization. The opponents want to say that the people's opposite sex by necessity gives value to the institution. An interesting turn of events."


Polygamists say that the institution of marriage has value independent of the number of people involved in the marriage.Even gay marriage proponents are denying the slippery slope argument. That it won't lead to polygamy. By why would they have a problem with it if it did?
This essentially boils down to "what does marriage mean?" and "who can define it?"

If the argument is marriage is whatever people who are in love want it to mean, you can't possibly object if people then ask "Well then what does that mean for harems or polygamy?"

"the institution compliments the participants, standing alone, by the commitments it demands to honor the solemnization."
Are those who are in a banned marriage (other than gay marriage for example) somehow not participants in what they want to be a legalized marriage? Shouldn't marriage compliment those participants so long as they are honoring the solemnization? If you are going to get married how does that not apply to you?
SO then "What does marriage mean?"

jr565 said...

This whole argument reminds me of the other story going around involving a gay person.
At her school she had an issue with the idea that a woman couldn't be the prom King instead of the prom king.
BUt this throws the very words we use into contention. How much redefining must be done simply to accomodate gays sense of grievance?
The very words we use? Now using King and Queen to define genders becomes a civil rights issue?
IT's ludicrous.
A prom king is simply the male, and a prom queen is simply the woman chosen by the school to represent the school. So then if we must now jettison the word king and queen becuase they are loaded and restrictive, that means we are doing away with the idea of equal representation for men and women in school. Right?
So then fine, the women can be the kings but they can also be the queens. So we could have two women and no men representing the school. And similarly we could have two men and no women representing the school. Are all the feminists going to be on board with that idea?
Apply that idea to title 9 sports, and why can't a man play on a womans sporst team? or why can't a woman be forced to compete with men on a mens team and if they can't hack it they can't play sports?

jr565 said...

So why shouldn't a woman be able to be prom king? Because it's a stupid argument. And anyway, They already can be prom queen. Why should I have to re understand the very idea of the words King and Queen simply to accomodate a moron's grievance? It's like when feminists get mad at the word "history" because it's "His" story and not her story. THAT IS NOT THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD. and we shouldn't have to change definitons of things simply because ignorant people don't understand etymology or even homonyms or homophones.
it's always some interest group from the left pushing these inane redefinitions based on nothing but their own sense of entitlement.

B said...

Well, sunsong won the thread to her own discussion. So much for Sam.