And by awful, I mean it’s awful if you don’t want to have to talk to your children about life.
Twitter and the interweb has been filled with self righteous people who say that they don’t have any problem with gay people, but just don’t want it shoved in their face. Seeing Sam drafted is great to them. Having to see a player kiss his boyfriend is too much, especially if they are watching TV with their kids.
Of course they don’t have a problem seeing AJ McCarron kiss his girlfriend when he gets drafted or the significant other of draftee Blake Bortles being shown in a bikini. That sends a much better message to their daughters about their value in this world.
I’ve talked to my kids about what it means to be gay. When they saw the kiss they just shrugged and had no questions. And I have a 5th grader who is taking human growth and development and comes home with a different sexual question every day. The Sam kiss was no big deal to them because it’s no big deal.
In fact, there are many other things on ESPN all the time that seem to not get nearly as much of a reaction by the general public even though they aren’t appropriate for kids. Namely:
- Commercials for Viagra or any other erectile dysfunction pill. These play all the time during Hawks games and the NBA playoffs which is all my kids watch other than Disney shows (which are horrifying in their own right). I’m just waiting for the day when my kids ask me if I’ve ever had a four hour erection and if so, did I go and see the doctor.
- The Budweiser commercial that asks about strippers.
- Features on athletes arrested for rape or molestation.
- The coverage of the murder trials/hearings of Oscar Pistorius and Aaron Hernandez which provide very graphic details.
- Pretty much every Carl’s Jr. Commercial.
But just like the Michael Sam kiss, none of this is inappropriate if you are actually willing to have a conversation with your children. In fact, the Sam kiss would only bother you if you are homophobic because you wouldn’t want your kids to see someone who lives a life you disagree with actually doing something no different than what you do and being a success.
The kiss was shown because this was a historical moment. Next year if there are five openly gay draftees, there likely won’t be an ESPN TV crew in the house of a 7th round draft pick. But if one of them is a first rounder and is in NYC for the festivities, the TV camera will pan to them and if their boyfriend is there, they’ll probably show a kiss.
And by then or the year after or the year after, nobody will think anything of it because it will appear normal. Because it is normal. It’s no different than when Ellen Degeneres had the first openly gay character on TV that it was big news. But today if your angle was that one of the characters is gay, if wouldn’t create a ripple.
Now if we can just get those Cialis and Viagra commercials removed . . .
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