Images of Michael Sam jubilantly kissing his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano reached saturation point on network news, ESPN and Twitter. The occasion was Sam being picked up by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the NFL Draft.
Good for him. Sam is the first openly gay athlete to be signed to a professional team. In August, Darren Young came out as the first openly gay pro wrestler, but, you know. It's wrestling.
The Michael Sam kiss quickly supplanted video of NBA scoring champ, Kevin Durant telling his mother that she is the real MVP.
I read a blog this morning on ChicagoNow, the Chicago Tribune's online blog presence written by Michael Helfand. Michael writes a column called "Chicago's Real Law Blog" and today's column was entitled, "Michael Sam's kiss was awful". You can read it here .
Michael's blog included a picture of the kiss seen around the world. Mine does not.
For the record, I agree with most of what Mr. Helfand says. Truly, the Michael Sam kiss was awful if you can not reconcile yourself with an alternate lifestyle or you think your children and family values in general were irreparably damage by a gay PDA (public display of affection).
Admittedly, I still find men kissing weird. Not offensive, but weird. My 62-year old brain just doesn't have the frame of reference for it and doesn't seem to know where to file it. It does, however seem to know where to file images of two (or more) women kissing.
What can say? In the 60's air was clean, sex was dirty and drugs were "in".
What I didn't agree with, in Mr. Helfand's blog was that the Sam-Cammisano kiss was an historic event. To that I would have to say that gay men kissing does not constitute an historic moment. It's just a moment. I think Michael Vick kissing his dog might be an event of greater historic import.
What was awful about those images of what will heretofore and forever be known as the "Michael Sam kiss" was the context. It was a weird moment of, "look, mom, two fags kissing". Michael Sam kissing his significant other should have been no more illustrative than any other NFL draftee kissing a significant other.
As opposed to highlighting an evolved society, Sam inadvertently allowed himself to be cast in a freak show, highlighting what many are convinced is aberrant behavior. It was unsettling in much the same way as was Donald Sterling asking Anderson Cooper if a girlfriend ever made him jealous.
If only the images of Solange Knowles kicking Jay Z in the nuts were more clear, it would help us move past the "Sam kiss" more quickly.
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