I’m not 100% sure that I’m as upset about this as others are.
An ESPN reporter, Josina Anderson, when asked how new Rams recruit Michael Sam was faring (Sam is openly gay), reported something she’d heard from one of Sam’s teammates. Namely, that Sam seemed to be skipping the showers while his other teammates were there. Ostensibly not to make them uncomfortable.
I think it’s newsworthy, and a bit sad, that Michael Sam himself may have chosen not to take showers with his teammates in order to not make them uncomfortable.
And I’m not at all convinced that ESPN’s Anderson did anything wrong in her reporting on it. She reported what she heard, then talked to other teammates who seemed to undercut the story. (It would be good to know if Sam himself had anything to say about it.)
Look, “showers” are an unfortunate issue we’ve had to deal with in the gay right arena for decades. It was one of Sam Nunn’s favorite arguments when he was busy torpedoing President Clinton’s effort to lift the ban on gays in the military back in 1993. So, I think we do ourselves a disservice when ignoring the “shower” issue.
Having said that, I think Anderson, and whoever was hosting over at ESPN, could have perhaps done a better job here by throwing in the point that the whole issue of “showers” is a bit silly. But it is an issue for some of the homophobes, so I don’t think we should ignore it, or avoid it.
And I have to say, the way Anderson handled it pretty much put the issue to bed, as it were. As I said above, I’m not a big fan of ignoring the elephants in the room when discussing civil rights issues, or any other “conflict.” Of all the ways Anderson could have handled this, I wasn’t terribly offended by what she did.
Am I wrong?