Saturday, August 30, 2014

Michael Sams, Was Coming Out Necessary?


       He came out. He came out loud and proud, oh yes he did. Michael Sam is a defensive lineman from Missouri University whom every football fan and many who don't even watch the sport knows was drafted seventh round by the St Louis Rams in this year's NFL draft. The big question has been will Michael Sam's sexual preference influence whether or not he makes the team? Details of this question ranges from is the Ram's organization going to keep Michael because of pressure from the media and pro-gay groups or will they cut him because of not wanting to deal with any negative effects arising from his being homosexual. Well the question was partly answered. On August 30, 2014 Michael Sam was officially cut from the St Louis Rams as they set their final roster of 53 players. Liberal media was rooting for him to make the team but in the end the truth was, as most people following this event already knew, Michael Sam is not that great of a football player. Why the St Louis Rams really chose him in the seventh round when he technically was not rated an exceptional, talented player by the experts is now up to everybody else's opinion.
        Commentators, experts often state that the Rams roster is already filled with much defensive lineman talent. The brilliant capability of the Ram's defensive lineman roster is often used as an explanation for Sam's minimal chance of making the team. Nobody in the media bothers to ask the Rams head coaches why they would draft Sam, a defensive lineman, in the seventh round, if they pretty much had that roster filled with talent already? Did the Rams organization feel compelled to pick Michael Sam because of all the media attention thrown upon him? Did they feel sorry for him? Did the Rams desire all the media attention and focus that obviously would be laid upon the team if they chosen him? But in the end all the attention will not make up for a lack of talent, especially in a league where five NFL coaches were fired in one day on the year 2013, referred to as Black Monday. In such a tough league where the head coach is held accountable not just for whether or not he has a winning record but also for making the playoffs and winning championships the coach cannot afford to waste draft picks in order to please the pro gay political crowd?
       Some personal uneasiness may have been related to either the Rams choosing Sam or releasing him, or even both. But likely the public may never know because of a lack of desire to deal with a media crowd who is hostile towards anyone who chooses to openly state or even imply any type of disapproval for homosexuality. A perfect example is the serious backlash ESPN received when one of the network's reporters, Josina Anderson, who asked Rams teammates about Michael Sam's showering habits and its possible affect on the team, whether or not it influenced his chances of making the team. These are legitimate questions that many people and not just sport fans would like to know. And if Michael Sam wants to come out. If he wants to be the proud NFL spokesman for homosexuals then he must be willing to answer these very logical and important questions. He can't always be running away from truthfully replying to people's concerns regarding a homosexual man being around naked men in the shower room. It is not fair for the men who do feel uneasy or who have concerns, maybe memories of past sexual abuse or harassment from adults in the past, or even former teammates.
       America cannot continue to hide from the concerns that homosexuality brings, especially when openly bringing such behavior in locker rooms. The locker room is private. This is not the place for someone to boast about his or her sexuality. Remembering that famous open mouth kiss Michael Sam and his manager/boyfriend, Vito Cammisano gave each other, unwisely, in front of the entire television public, Michael Sam does not make good decisions toward promoting himself, or cause, out in the general public. Regardless of how many states vote for gay marriage not many people want to see two men french kiss on family television. His decision to behave the way he did was very dumb and it may have influenced the Ram's decision to cut him. More importantly that kiss may have influenced many other NFL teams to stay away from him. But, if so the Rams likely won't tell us. These other teams who chose to stay away from this potential Jerry Springer type fiasco likely won't ever tell us. And it is very possible that Michael Sam is asking himself these same questions. But if he is, will he be man enough to tell someone? Will he come out in front of the media and state such concerns his kiss and coming out had on his making the team? Well that is up to Michael Sam. Now, of course, as mentioned by the media many times, he could always be picked up by another team but  even so, he will still have to answer tough questions regarding his open sexuality and its effect on his and his team's performance. There will still be teammates who will be concerned about him staring at them while they are taking a shower in the locker room. Memories of that kiss will still be in people's heads. He will still have many future questions to answer regarding his homosexuality and how it is affecting his personal life. People will still want to know whether his living his life as a gay man is influencing his career, ability to play football. And if Michael Sam wants to be proud and come out, he better be ready to face those questions and not run from them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams, Suicides and Hollywood

       While noticing the regular evening news being interrupted by an emergency I immediately knew that something tragic happened. "Oh no!" I thought out loud. "What happened this time" Hearing about Robin Williams death surprised me at first but later the news described his having bouts with depression. Then in a later news session a gentleman described people who are very funny, ones who joke a lot as often using their humor to ward of struggles, doubts they have within their own minds. I then began thinking about Hollywood and the many characters in the past who have experienced hectic lives full of wild tirades, divorces, runaway children, and even tragic deaths. 
       One famous character that comes to mind is the funny wannabe sexy rock singer Michael Hutchence. Now admittedly, this crooning star was viewed as sexy to some of his fans and media. I thought of his moves as entertaining in a comedic fashion. I remember as a young lad laughing at some of his supposedly sexy moves while watching his videos with my little brother. No we did not consider him sexy at all in any fashion whatsoever. Even though I would not dare buy any of his music I have to admit to myself I did have a slight attraction to a few of his songs even though I would not listen to any of his INXS songs now. Though his arms waves and hip slides looked very cartoonish to me it still saddened me as an adult to hear of his death and not just to hear of his death but they way he died. The guy hung himself. Now what a way to die. Why would a guy making all that money (unless he was in debt at the time) want to hang himself in such a terrible fashion causing all that pain and suffering, and humiliation to his body. Was what he was suffering from that bad? I don't know much about his death besides the fact that his life was full of drugs and alcohol. Maybe that is all I need to know. Drugs and alcohol is like the pied piper in many of these famous characters lives. Both are the two demons that talk in tag team fashion to their famous captive telling him or her repeatedly that whatever they are going through, regardless of how many fans they have, how many people like them, no matter how pretty their spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends, how much money they have, or how much money they got in the bank, that they are worthless. And these celebrities often believe it.
       Sadly, Robin Williams had his own heavy bouts with alcohol and cocaine throughout his acting career. The exact connection between alcohol and cocaine with his death is unknown at this time. The drug likely is connected with his struggle with suicide as it often is with many people. Famous people like Robin Williams, the big winners in the eyes of most of the world, battle with obstacles that many of us cannot comprehend. Unfortunately being a big guy living within a space only reachable by the very few he likely felt isolated and out of touch with reality. He probably had  desires to experience a normal life, have regular, ordinary friendships. He very possibly desired to have walks out in the open to stores, everyday restaurants, maybe even visit a local church without people staring at him, making faces, pointing gestures. He likely often felt awkward being out in the in public unless he was scheduled to be funny. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Robin Williams had Jesus in his life? Wouldn't it have been nice if he would have had someone to call upon His Name whenever he felt those doubts, those periods of loneliness, or even fear? Someone he would know for sure is not listening to him because he is famous or in order to get something from him.
       Unfortunately the beat will likely go on and Hollywood will continue as it usually is harassing the Justing Biebers, gossiping about the Jennifer Lopez's of this world until they are about to go nuts. Except for an occasional condolence here and there and a few shot outs in a period of a week or two Robin Williams death will very likely be forgotten. Hollywood will be back to square one. The lonely actors, singers, and comedians will again be smiling for the cameras, acting wild, making jokes then when the camcorders, polaroids leave their faces acting a totally new character, themselves, for the first time for who knows how long.
       The Christians have a missionary field. I have witnessed an arts and entertainment sector in a previous church I was a once a member, with a spoken mission to reach the famous, especially those in arts and entertainment but I am not very sure if such a strong mission or if many exists today. Much of Hollywood despite what they media portrays, is likely one of the most isolated settings existing in the world today. Hollywood needs love. There are too many Lady Gaga's and Madonna's out there portraying the ideal that everything is alright. "No", everything is not alright. Hollywood needs help. The next severely depressed, famous individual needs to know that he or she has a choice and this option is a winner. He or she needs to know that there is a better way and that way is through Jesus Christ.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will Romans 12:2.