[Admin Note: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage once again, K. Ferdinand.]
“I’m coming out…. Coming!…I want the world to know gotta let it show…”. I’m sorry, but that seems to be the new National Anthem these days. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, the latest news is about Mizzou’s defensive lineman Michael Sam coming out the closet revealing to the sports world that he will be the first openly gay athlete to [actively] compete in a major American sport.
Journalists and the media have been in a frenzy trying to figure out how he will be accepted in the NFL. More importantly, how will Michael Sam’s sexuality affect his draft status in the 2014 NFL draft? Personally I don’t feel his sexuality is going to be a factor in any aspect of his life unless he does not perform on the gridiron (Football Field). He might hear some [derogatory] shyt like: “Get his *expletive* ass off the field”. Or he may get some reporter asking, “What is Michael Sam like in the locker room”? Insinuating he may be lurking around in the showers like a peeping tom looking at his teammates; something any homophobe would expect all gay people would do.
With all of Michael Sam’s accolades I guess his stats were not enough for him to keep his sexuality confidential. On an ESPN interview he stated:
“It was important for me to tell my story so that the world does not hear it from someone else”.
Overall, I give Michael Sam much respect for owning his individuality, and not giving a fcuk of what people think of his sexual orientation. In addition, if I was to bet on who would win in an all out brawl between him and who ever wants to call him a derogatory term, my money is on Sam…all 6’2″, 255 pounds of him. No homo lol!
But when did sexuality become so important that it must be revealed in the workplace?
As a black man we face many obstacles, many self-imposed but mostly institutional. Most black men do not have the ability to play sports on a professional level or be a world-class entertainer. Most of us are entrepreneurs or work in the private or public sector. However, when I see how sexuality is becoming such a big deal in American sports, it’s a matter of time until we see sexual orientation as a questionnaire on job applications. If you thought lying on your job application about a case you caught in undergrad was a big deal, wait till you have to explain your sexual preference. I can see ’em sweating now!
In conclusion, sexuality is a matter of personal preference and whom ever you choose to express that with. And for my homosexual brothers and sisters, why place yourself in a quota situation or broadcast your sexual preference when at the end of the day nobody cares but you? If you’re the absolute best at your craft and no one in the office can do the work that you do, allow that to speak volumes. You will be surprised because everyone is going turn Gay– Gay with the fact that your productivity is making them more money!
Until next time,
Post title Update on 01/15/19. Originally entitled, “Down Low Brothas on the Job: Should Black Men Keep Their Sexuality Hidden in the Workplace?”