As many of you probably already know, there was a breakthrough yesterday after decades of concern over the concept of homosexuality in the masculine atmosphere of the NFL:
Michael Sam made history Saturday afternoon, as the St. Louis Rams made him the 249th overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft.This is, quite obviously, a welcome and promising sign of progress.
The Missouri defensive end became the first openly gay player to be drafted in league history and seeks to be the first openly gay athlete ever to play in the NFL.
Video of Sam receiving the call from the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher revealed the player's emotion while surrounded by friends, family and his boyfriend.
But what was included in that emotional response by a man brave enough to out himself to the press? A perhaps equally brave embrace and kiss with his partner during one of the most joyful moments of his life - in front of ESPN cameras.
You didn't hear the pops? Those weren't fireworks. They were bigoted brains exploding across America.
Follow me below for video of the special moment and a taste of the crazy, a brand only men kissing on ESPN can bring out of the woodwork.
The general response to the touching moment above on most on sports message boards? This:
Openly gay athletes playing pro? Eh, maybe its time. But gay athlete kissing his man on camera?
"THE SKY IS FALLING AND THE RAPTURE'S COMING - EW, ICKY, GROSS - Wait, why am I aroused? Oh God. It's that agenda again. Honey, the damn liberals are taking over our TV!!!"
There is a genuinely wide variety of stupid on this one. After all, sports brings together a group of Americans that vary widely on politics, level of education, and general sanity.
Here we have the common (and quite numerous) cave troll, who sticks to basic gut feelings:
You can also find the classic trolls wondering about, fuming over the horrible scene of love they just witnessed - wondering why they're oddly disgusted or aroused by it and desperately seeking to justify the feelings better than "OMMMGG it was icky!!!":
These next bigots use similar justification and are becoming more common in the wild, as excuses for ignorance grow thin. What's a hater to do? They say they're kinda ok with gay people - they just don't want their kids around them. Or seeing them kiss. These types can be found at home or in bunkers, huddled closely while watching old Disney movies and fearing the grand gay agenda. Shhh don't tell them Disney owns ESPN:
Another classic character out in full force is the Christianist bigot. You know, the ones who claim Jesus while assuring us God wants us to to be hateful to everyone not like us:
Often time, dramatic social events stir up rare hybrid trolls who emerge from the shadows:
That guy might have been better off with this curious line of attack, albeit not by much:
And last but not least, the trolls who want us to fight racial discrimination while ignoring the historic plight of homosexuals - because screw everyone else, that's why:
The only way I can keep my own head from exploding after reading these quotes is to make fun of them.
Thank you NFL for finally showing some sign of openness and inclusion, however overdue. Thank you ESPN, not only for covering the story closely but for not shying away from showing two men kiss after countless shots of other couples kissing.
But most importantly, congratulations to Michael Sam and the gay community.
Don't sweat the trolls - we'll all take care of them. Just enjoy and embrace every victory in the long hard road towards progress. It's much overdue and you deserve it.
Now, back to these ESPN boards - where was my popcorn??