I think there was a big reaction to Michael Sam’s coming out, mainly because for some stupid reason, being gay is still something worth talking about. He is likely going to see time on the NFL field, making him the first of his generation, but that’s not all. Let’s be honest people, regardless of how you feel about it, homosexuality isn’t a big deal in 2014, which is exactly the way it should be. No one should care about the way individuals live their personal life in this fashion, especially when it comes to sports. Gay people should be able to participate fully, and not only that, they should face the same ups and downs that every other athlete endures.
All opinions aside, its likely Michael Sam will be a big deal regardless of my feelings about the notoriety of the story. Autograph hounds have already started posting their wares, and they are getting GOOD money for their stuff:
As if on cue, the cards companies are scrambling early to get him signed, and so far both Topps and Press Pass have talked about him being a part of their 2014 sets. That’s good, because he should be. Im guessing he ends up being a 3rd round pick, and that makes him autograph worthy in many of the sets that focus on content from late round picks.
Being that he will be the first openly gay NFL draft pick, it does create a bit of fame that some would equate to someone like Jackie Robinson. I know its hard to put both players on the same level, as the world is FAAAR more accepting of Sam than they were of Robinson, but homosexuality in sports is still a barrier worth breaking. As many will talk about, being gay isn’t visible on the outside, unlike Robinson’s skin ALWAYS being dark. There are no doubt gay players in the NFL already, but they have decided against being public for the time being. There were NO black players in MLB when Robinson came through.
Here is the bottom line. Collectors will want Michael Sam cards as long as he is a player in the NFL. He may not even be that good, and his cards will still be valuable. Fame does that, and bible thumpers will have to deal with it. Im glad about that, because he deserves every chance he will get. Be prepared for him to be possibly invited to the rookie premiere, among other focuses in the card industry, and that isn’t a bad thing. The bad part is, his sexual orientation is the only reason for that to happen, and that seems forced. Either way, I shouldn’t be complaining because he will bring extra value to packs.
Eventually Michael Sam’s career will not be a big deal, because being gay isn’t a big deal anymore. Its part of our culture now (as it should be), and that’s okay with me. Lets just hope that he doesn’t become the next Tim Tebow, who is pretty much the same type of walking circus, but at the other end of the spectrum. We all know how that worked out.