The WWE has issued an open invite to the NFL‘s first openly gay player, Michael Sam. This was announced on Monday Night Raw last night and the WWE posted this public letter addressed to Sam on their website:
Exhibiting class and dignity rarely shown in professional sports, Michael Sam, WWE invites you to next Monday’s Raw to speak of your struggles to succeed, lessons you have learned along the way, the courage it takes to be yourself and the prospects of your continued journey.
You are a role model, who, by example, can encourage everyone to stand up and openly be themselves.
The WWE is being very honorable by acknowledging the courage shown by the seventh round draft pick. However, why does he need to appear on their televised programming? Quite frankly, he shouldn’t. The WWE crafting a segment around Sam would be taking advantage of him. It would be diminishing the accomplishment of coming out by turning it into a ratings grab. Monday Night Raw begins its annual head-to-head ratings battle with Monday Night Football next week, and this was clearly an attempt to bring in some of those viewers.
The most absurd part of the invite was when the commentary team said Sam would have a chance to “air his grievances” next week. What grievances could he have? Yes, he was cut by the St. Louis Rams, but I’m sure he is very thankful to be given an opportunity to play for an NFL team. Thousands in the college rank try and only a few hundred get as far as Sam did, and his dream is still alive.
As I write this article, it is reported he may sign with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, which is great news. He’ll be too busy pursuing his dreams rather than fulfilling the McMahon’s lust for ratings at any cost.