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Michael Sam's kiss heard 'round the world

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Update: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a new multi-part documentary series following the life of Michael Sam, who made history when he became the first openly gay football player drafted into the NFL by the St. Louis Rams. --larrybrownsports.com

Michael Sam's decision to do a "documentary series" -- reality TV show -- on the Oprah Winfrey Network is a gigantic tactical error for Sam and his supporters within the LGBT community. --Jason Whitlock, ESPN.com

I knew it was coming the moment I saw the young man standing next to newly drafted St. Louis Rams player, Michael Sam. I kept thinking, "No, they wouldn't...not on national TV." But then it happened for all the world to see. They kissed. And ESPN kept repeating the footage of that kiss over and over again throughout the rest of the broadcast. I counted --- it replayed six times before I finally changed the channel. It's certainly not the first time, homosexuals have kissed on television but usually, it's written into a script as part of a scene in a movie or television series. In that context, it's considered art/entertainment, which makes it more acceptable to some, I guess [sic].

But not this time. It was for real. Perhaps, what made that kiss so outrageously shocking to some, and hilariously liberating to others was the fact that it happened during the NFL draft --- a testosterone infused event. That kiss was deliberate, in your face, and clearly intended to send a message. No doubt, there were and still are differing opinions on just what that message is. I've sampled some of those opinions. You can form your own.

At last count, two NFL players publicly expressed disapproval of the kiss, along with these other viewpoints:

Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can’t believe ESPN even allowed that to happen. --former NY Giant, Derrick Ward via Twitter

OMG. Horrible. --Miami Dolphin player, Don Jones via Twitter

ESPN... You serious right now? --Case MCCoy, quarterback, Univ of Texas via Twitter

Michael Sam's big gay kiss will never be forgotten. That was the whole point. --Cyd Zeigler, writer

It’s annoying that people can’t say anything about the Michael Sam kiss without people pointing at them saying “homophobe." -- Robby Schultz

We've become so politically correct in this country that the country is going to hell. --Donald Trump, FOX News

It's surprising how few people are willing to speak publicly about how they really feel ---positively or negatively --- until they know the pulse of the rest country. The punitive slap on the wrist given to Miami Dolphins player Don Jones for exercising his free speech may be keeping others, especially in the NFL, from speaking out. Not commenting, one way or the other, seems safer. When America wakes up, this will not have been a dream. Whether fortunate or unfortunate, it's the new reality that will have a ripple effect on American society for years to come.

The cultural impact of Saturday's draft selection – and the kiss watched 'round the world – reaches into every corner of American society. No child will ever again grow up thinking that being gay in the National Football League is "impossible". That was the word people used as recently as Saturday morning. Getting naked in the showers with an openly gay man was supposed to be too much for the gladiators of the NFL, that bellwether of American masculinity. That has all changed. Being gay is normal now, for boys and girls who watch TV on Saturday afternoons, and maybe even some of their parents. --Cyd Zeigler, Guardian.com

Michael Sam may eventually come to wish that he hadn't chosen to make the biggest night of his life (I'm guessing) about him kissing another man rather than about his NFL selection. Okay, we know he can kiss. Now let's see if he can play football.

I was appalled by @ESPN showing @MikeSamFootball smearing cake on his boyfriend's face. Do you know how many hungry kids go 2 bed w/o cake? -- Comedien Wanda Sykes

Sadly, Ms. Sykes, the joke's on us. And more backlash is certain down the road.

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