'This is Cowardice Writ Large'

Dave Zirin for The Nation, "Michael Sam: Out of the Closet, Out of the NFL?":

The very language that Michael Sam is a "distraction" - which Freeman is one of the few to have the courage to call out - is a way to project and justify one's own bigotry. Michael Sam is not a distraction. A "distraction" is when a team invites HBO Hard Knocks into their locker room. A "distraction" is when an owner proudly and loudly defends a racial slur on national television. A "distraction" is when a player commits a crime like spousal abuse and is then aggressively defended by his organization like all he did was chew gum in class. To equate being open about one's sexuality and then just playing football (no Oprah reality shows, no special interviews) with being this kind of "distraction" is to traffic in rank prejudice. Once again, to say otherwise, is to practice public relations.