5 Ways Openly-Gay Michael Sam Can Bring About a New Era in the NFL

1 of 6

Michael Sam Coming Out Can Bring New Era in NFL

Getty Images

Michael Sam deciding to be an openly-gay player will start a revolution in the NFL. He may be the first to come out in the NFL, but not the first to come out in professional sports in the USA. Former NBA player Jason Collins came out after retirement, and current MLS player Robbie Rogers came out, took a hiatus, then rejoined the league with the Los Angeles Galaxy soon after.

These are the kind of guys that should be playing in professional leagues. They are courageous individuals who are bringing about change just by being themselves. If sports are a representation of masculinity, then there is nothing more manly than having the courage to come out.

It's a new era in the USA as one-by-one, states are beginning to overturn laws banning marriage equality, and it is about time this transfers over to sports. It's weird to think that it is more acceptable for a gay man to die protecting his country than having a gay man play on a sports team. This is slowly becoming a thing of the past. There has been more positive than negative support for Sam since his coming out. Of course, it is still very controversial, but him coming out is a positive action in itself.

There is always talk of the locker room culture when gay players are brought up -- how it could be a distraction in the locker room or that it is uncomfortable. When Rogers came out and returned to the league, a group of players were anonymously questioned, and not all of them gave positive feedback. But Rogers and Sam coming out and playing are helping create the new generation of players. Hopefully soon enough, gay players won't be a news story, but just an unimportant detail.

Jackee Arce is a soccer writer for Follow her on Twitter @knackeredwriter, “like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

2 of 6

5. Players Are Comfortable With It

Getty Images

Football is known as one of the manliest sports with the toughest guys. Young boys see these guys as idols since the first time they put flags on their shorts to play flag football. Having current and former NFL players come out to show support for Michael Sam is huge. Tom Crabtree is just one of many who said supportive things. Sam playing in the NFL alongside these guys show that having openly-gay players does not affect the game or the players.

3 of 6

4. Some NFL Teams Support Sam Coming Out

Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys would welcome the linebacker to the team. Seeing how he doesn't fit their current scheme, it is unlikely that the Cowboys would draft him, but at least the option is there. More teams showing support for Michael Sam give hope to other gay players that may be in college or high school.

4 of 6

3. He is a more well-known player

Getty Images

When the reports started coming out about Michael Sam, not many people were left asking who he was. He's a known player and he's a good player. He was a possible second- or third-round pick. Him coming out may change that, but it is very unlikely that he won't be drafted at all. The reason his story made headlines is because many in his same position would not do the same and jeopardize their chances in the draft.

5 of 6

2. If He's Drafted By a Top Team, It Will Be Great for the League

Getty Images

People will have their different opinions of the player, but if a quality team chooses him, it sends a message to the league and its fans. His ability is worth more than what people think of him. He'll become a role model to those hoping to follow in his footsteps.

6 of 6

1. He Is Not Alone

Getty Images

Although Michael Sam may be the first gay player to come out, he is not the only gay player in the NFL. If that is what you believe, you're dead wrong. He is the only one courageous enough to come out. He's setting a trend in this macho sport and hopefully others will follow.