Mark Zinno over at CBS Radio Baltimore raises an interesting point in the wake of Missouri defensive end — and likely NFL draftee — Michael Sam announcing that he is gay. Sam’s statement was met largely with words of acceptance and commendation from players, coaches, and other NFL-related public figures. That is of course as it should be. But Zinno asks, “How will the NFL handle the fans? The stadium environment? […] If Michael Sam gets drafted by the Steelers how many of you [Ravens] fans will NOT call him a ‘f-word?'”
In the cascade of attaboys, I almost forgot that the worst thing about sports can sometimes be the fans. I’d certainly like to believe that people who proudly root for a football team named after a nineteenth-century poem would be open minded enough never to let slurs escape their mouths when jeering an opponent, but we’ll have to see.
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