After nearly seven full rounds of the often-interminable NFL draft, Michael Sam was finally selected by the St. Louis Rams, putting him on the path to becoming the first openly gay player in National Football League history.
But while Sam’s embrace of his partner in celebration may seem, in this increasingly LGBT-friendly era, to be no big deal, the immediate response from many on Twitter has shown that, at least among NFL diehards, the most rank and lizard-brained homophobia is still a powerful cultural influence. (Incidentally, these folks seem to not understand that deleting or locking your account after a website posts your horrible tweet doesn’t make you any less of a jackass.)
Unfortunately, as the hours since Sam’s selection have passed, much of the hatred directed toward Sam on Twitter has continued — frequently couched in the concern-trolling language of protecting young ESPN viewers who, supposedly, will be forever traumatized by seeing the image of two people who love each other celebrating one of the most important days of their lives; or demanding we all ignore Sam’s sexuality in favor of what “really” matters.
So just in case anyone doubts that we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of making homosexuality truly mainstream, here’s a list of some of the stupidest, silliest and most shameful tweets about Michael Sam to be posted nearly 24 hours after his dream of joining the NFL finally came true.