How to talk to kids about Michael Sam being drafted by the NFL (video)

Great video about the pseudo-uproar over what parents will tell their children about the NFL’s St. Louis Rams drafting openly-gay player Michael Sam this weekend.


“Dad, why do homophobic men think about their penises and gay-guy penises all the time?”

DAD: Son, I want to talk to you about Michael Sam. Do you know who that is?

SON: Um, no.

DAD: Well, he’s a football player that was just drafted into the NFL, and a lot of people are really upset about it.

SON: Why are they upset?  Did he abuse his child?

DAD: No, that was Michael Boley who’s still playing for the Cincinatti Bengals.

SON: Did he get arrested for trying to solicit a prostitute?

DAD: No, that’s Quentin Groves, who’s still playing for the Cleveland Browns.

SON: Was he arrested for assaulting his ex-wife and mother of his child?

DAD: No, that was Daryl Washington who’s currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals…

SON: Was he arrested on three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon?

DAD: No, that was Aldon Smith who’s currently on the San Francisco 49ers roster.

SON: Is there video of him dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator after a reported altercation?

DAD: Nope, that’s Ray Rice, he’s still on the Baltimore Ravens.

SON: Did he reportedly rape a woman…

It goes on for another minute.

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21 Responses to “How to talk to kids about Michael Sam being drafted by the NFL (video)”

  1. taikan says:

    My son’s only question about Michael Sam was: “How could any team that needs a defensive end let him get past the first or second round of the draft?”

  2. cole3244 says:

    i hope you are correct and i am not.

  3. jomicur says:

    Brilliant, just brilliant!

  4. BeccaM says:

    Not all cultures, I disagree.

  5. cole3244 says:

    all cultures treat women with disrespect if not violence and all men have one thing genetically in common, the t word lol!

  6. BeccaM says:

    I think much of it is cultural.

  7. cole3244 says:

    lets face it the world is screwed up and america is more than most.

  8. cole3244 says:

    i guess this all can be explained simply by genetics and the differences between estrogen and testosterone, one makes women nurturing and one makes men not.

  9. Duck says:

    Right, but this construct can also apply to more traditional sexism as well although the reasoning is a little more convoluted. Women are subject to lesser pay due to this type of patriarchal construct — the only reason a woman would want to have equal pay (or generally equality) is to assert their independence, which would include of course their sexual independence – thus manifesting sexual agency of their own – violating rule 1 (by having their own desires and expressing them) and possibly rule 2 (subjecting a male to being desired sexually).

  10. Hue-Man says:

    Am I wrong to consider this a “freedom of speech” issue just like the gay-hating HGTV actors? Violent straight people aren’t limited in their speech – as long as they keep their clothes on and don’t swear – while gays and lesbians are required to stay in the closet in the unlikely event they appear on network TV. This isn’t just a dual standard – this is a call for censorship.

  11. BeccaM says:

    Interesting points. I see you meant more of same-sex desires being ‘inconceivable and intolerable’, as well as an imposition of traditional gender roles.

  12. Duck says:

    Think about it in terms of patriarchy. Two women (as your example) aren’t permitted (it is inconceivable) to desire each other independently of a male presence, and it is intolerable to the (generic) male presence that they don’t desire his presence vis-à-vis a threeway (in more extreme examples it is so intolerable that “corrective” rape is used or threatened). For old rich men the women aren’t really considered to be independent agents – the women aren’t considered to desire the men but their wealth/status/power (“gold diggers”). For older women – she is despicable and lecherous because she is doing several things that go against the patriarchy – she is asserting her sexual independence (manifesting independent agency via her own desire) and she is reversing the roles (not only exhibiting her own agency, but doing so via her younger hunky “desirable” male partner). I think that part of the disgust shown for the May December m-f relationship is also due to the fact that the male in the relationship is being treated as an object of desire.

  13. BeccaM says:

    Not sure I’d agree about women putting out not because they want to have sex but because their husbands do. Again, anecdotally, I know of quite a few happily married hetero couples with healthy sex lives. And not every gay or lesbian couple has non-stop sex either.

    Also not sure about most women preferring sex with other women. Let’s just say that on average, women don’t freak out at an unwanted same-sex pass as supposedly straight-but-homophobic men are more won’t to do. I mean, when’s the last time we heard about a lesbian being beaten or killed out of ‘gay panic’ — but it happens far too often to gay men.

    Maybe the attitudes you point out are related to the way it’s deemed not such a big deal if a woman expresses same-sex curiosity, and thus it’s not inconceivable that one day she could find out if she likes it or not. It can remain in the realm of “Well, maybe one day…” without being psychologically threatening at all. Whereas there are huge anti-progressive social pressures against men admitting the same or ever experimenting. Thus it becomes more forbidden, and that which is forbidden becomes even more attractive by virtue of being off-limits…and pretty soon, we end up with a homophobic bigot who can’t stop obsessing about gay male sex. In graphic detail. ;-)

  14. BeccaM says:

    Fascinating notion. And I love that term — ‘lesbian erasure’. I’ll probably steal it. ;-) Not sure I agree with the ‘inconceivable and intolerable’ parts though.

    It’s totally ‘conceivable’ for a woman to have sexual desire — but she is not tolerated, because having desires according to the patriarchs makes her a dirty whore. Moreover one who can only be satisfied by male attentions. Penthouse Letters wouldn’t exist but for the myth of the unsatisfied nymphomaniac.

    Many of the patriarchist males however see it as their due to be sexually desired by attractive women — even if these males are old, wrinkled, and corpulent. All it takes is money and/or power. Reverse the sexes — an old woman and a hunky male arm ornament, and suddenly she’s deemed despicable and lecherous.

  15. cole3244 says:

    boy that’s a lot to digest but i will add something, as a straight man i am not so diluted that i don’t realize most women have sexual relations with their man not because they want it but because he does and she wants to please him.

    i believe most women would prefer sex with another woman because they are gentle and meet the needs of the other woman better than a man would or could if he was so inclined.

    women have come a long way but they are still considered second class to most men, if they had the physical power or attitude to be violent that might change but women are generally non violent and men feel superior for that reason alone.

    i love the response when sam and his boy friend kissed, the insecure males were sickened by it and i reply to them that they were afraid of their physical response fearing they might be gay curious, the anger that explanation gets is well worth the wait.

    to me the more disgusted a straight male is to a gay man the chances are he is either very insecue or has a gay curious gene he can’t completely ignore and hate is the weapon he uses to prove his masculinity.

  16. Duck says:

    BeccaM, are you familiar with the 2 rules of desire? I ran across them in the writings of a blogger by name of Figleaf and they provide a fairly good synopsis of your comment above and were very much a commentary on patriarchal structures.
    1. It is simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for a woman to have sexual desire.
    2. It is simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for a man to be sexually desired.
    These two rules can explain homophobia, biphobia, bi-erasure, lesbian erasure and other issues relating to sexuality in modern societuy

  17. emjayay says:

    Hilarious but they forgot Michael Vick!

  18. BeccaM says:

    I think that says everything: Violence on TV and in movies = okay. Romance and public displays of affection between heterosexuals = also okay. Famous sports figures with felony convictions for violence and other crimes = totally acceptable.

    A gay football player who isn’t ashamed to be public? Who additionally refuses to be shoehorned into the alternative closet of “yes, he’s gay, but we never see him being gay with anybody”? Somehow that’s radical, unacceptable, and deemed by the far-right conservative outrage squad to be a danger for children even to find out he exists.

    BTW, about the whole ‘lesbians are hot’ angle, I believe it derives from what I’ve termed “the Harem Syndrome.” You ask any straight guy why he finds watching two women making out to be hot, and for most of them the underlying assumption will be those women don’t actually dislike men, sexually speaking. And furthermore that they would actually prefer a man to be present. Their sexual involvement with each other isn’t for each other, but for his pleasure and amusement.

    Another sign of this is how, in the vast majority of criticisms from the conservatives and fundamentalists, especially when they become graphic about gay sex being icky, their examples are always centered around gay men having backdoor sex — again, lesbian sex as simply not existing as a thing at all.

    Still more evidence, anecdotally speaking, was when my wife and I were out with each other — or even when I was on my own, but was clear that I was in a committed same-sex relationship and not looking at all — how often I’d be propositioned by random sleazy dudes for a threesome.

    I’d challenge any straight couple to be sitting at a table in a bar, by themselves, perhaps holding hands and talking, clearly involved with each other, and have some strange guy walk up and ask if he could join. And then follow that up almost immediately with an invitation to come up to his room for drinks, as if the sole reason for that previously intimate, private moment was for the couple to be on display for some guy to pick up.

    I’ve said before how for the most part, lesbians are invisible. That’s because for the homophobic ‘harem syndrome’ believers, there’s no such thing as women who don’t like men and, in their minds, all we need is the perfect f*ck (even if it’s actually rape) to turn us 100% straight.

    To end on a more positive note: I’ll be interested to see how things begin to shake out, as the notion of gays and lesbians not just being in a committed (but legally unrecognized) relationship is culturally replaced with common knowledge of same-sex marriage. I’ve wondered if in fact being able to adopt the language of commitment — wife, husband, married — will in time help offset the previously prevailing dismissals of our relationships as fleeting and insubstantial.

  19. AndyinChicago says:

    In a way, what’s happened is that society is just forcing professional sports to catch up with the rest of the country. It’s been this bastion of outdated behaviors toward women, toward masculinity’s definition, toward how people should interact with each other, and in this last move, how society should interact with the LGBT community. It’s surprising that acceptance of gay people has started before the absolute condemnation of violence, especially against women.

  20. cole3244 says:

    in america parents start showing boys how to shoot and hunt at a young age and boys & girls can watch all the violence they want or play violent computer games to their hearts content.

    letting them know that men might love men is taboo, women loving women on the other hand is a turn on and quite acceptable to the bigots among us even though that is also the dreaded gay gene, ain’t america beautiful, not!

  21. BeccaM says:

    Good video.

    I read this morning how Captain HeadFerret (aka Donald Trump) called Michael Sam’s public kissing of his boyfriend, “pretty out there.” And of course, the Faux News’ morning moron crew was all over how terrible it was for Sam to be visibly gay on TV, and oh-those-poor bullied homophobes can’t spew bigotry anymore without being criticized for it.

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