A Salute to Mizzou

Mizzou Salute, University of Missouri Salute, A Salute to Missouri

Here’s what the University of Missouri’s athletic homepage looks like tonight. Well done, Mizzou. Well done.

When NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay, we were critical of Stanford University. While many hailed Jason’s courage — including some folks at Stanford publicly — the university failed to highlight the historic significance of his coming out on their homepage or on the Stanford Athletics page. Nobody but us seemed to notice this but it bothered us (not even our friends at “Outsports” paid any attention to it). When Stanford should have been highlighting how proud they were of this former Stanford basketball star who represents their university so well and so proudly, they instead ran everyday stories that paled in comparison to the significance of Jason raising his hand for gay athletes everywhere. Today, on this day in which Michael Sam, the Consensus All-American, First-Team SEC, and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, announced to the world that he is gay, the University of Missouri did right by him and by every LGBT athlete competing across the world.

A Missouri Salute, Saluting Mizzou, Mizzou Athletics

Bev’s son, Brian, playing kickball with Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out over the summer but has yet to sign with an NBA team since. We’re rooting for him. Jason, of course, is wearing a Stanford hat.

The University of Missouri had Michael’s back. Take a look at a screen grab of the University of Missouri’s athletic homepage tonight. Read through the comments of Michael’s coach and teammates. Jason may have been years removed from competing for Stanford at the time that he came out, but few have worn the Cardinal jersey with such dignity as the Collins brothers. They owed him a congratulations on their homepage. What’s even more remarkable is that Michael Sam came out prior to his senior year of college football and many knew that he was gay throughout his collegiate career. Not only did nobody say anything to the media — even though Michael didn’t ask them to keep this secret — but it was a non-issue for the team. Michael, after all, was one of the finest players to ever wear a University of Missouri uniform.

To the University of Missouri administration, to the athletic director, and, mostly, to Michael’s coaches and teammates on the football team, you’ve got a lot to be very proud of tonight. Michael Sam is not a player at the end of his career. He is not a player who may never make an NFL roster. He’s not going to be a player in a pro sports league that nobody watches or nobody’s heard of. Michael Sam is going to be a major contributor in the National Football League and he changes the national conversation about gays in sports. Michael Sam is going to be openly gay from the very beginning of his professional career. Congratulations to Michael and the University of Missouri for tackling this news story with the utmost of class.

What do you think about Michael Sam’s coming out? And what do you think of his team keeping this secret for so long? In the age of social media, it’s kind of incredible, right?

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3 Comments

  • Ricardo Torresink says:

    I really enjoy your information and respect both your content and your dedication. I remain troubled, however, in our new culture in colleges that respect people based on their sexual partner. Why do I continue to hear “Hero” when a man says he has sex with another man? I think a hero is a single mom helping her kid with homework. A Professor that devotes himself to teaching over more lucrative research jobs is more of a story than a football players sex life. I know someone who is attending a Diversity day function to try and get a “hook” for admissions. Sexual organs touching should not be a topic for admissions, a school’s website, or a school’s newspaper. I know your heart is to reduce discrimination. I respect that, but please be open to the fact that a student being gay does not make a student special, a hero, or a story. It means they are a student.

    Sorry for the ramble. It’s also hard to share these thoughts as speaking “out” makes people like me looked at as a “homophobe”.

    • Bev Taylor says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      Thank you for reading our college admissions blog. No comment on our blog has ever lit a fire under us as yours has today. You wrote that speaking out like this might label you “a homophobe.” I wouldn’t disagree with you on this point. Your statements are indeed homophobic. Do you actually believe that being gay is just about “sexual organs” touching other “sexual organs”? Because if you were gay or if you actually had an understanding of what it means to be a member of the LGBT community, you would know that being gay isn’t just about what happens in the bedroom. It’s about fighting for equality on the streets of California when voters take the right to marry away from you. It’s about being bullied growing up for being different. It’s about being a minority. It’s about so much more than what happens in the bedroom. We have never stated on this blog or anywhere else that being gay is a “hook” as you suggest for admissions. Being who you are whether you’re an openly gay NFL prospect or a 13 year-old teenager who contemplates suicide because homophobic teenagers ridicule you each and every day at school is indeed a hook. Being honest and shedding light on who you are is a hook. You don’t have to be gay to have this kind of hook. You can simply be a great writer who is unafraid to let admissions officers know who you are. One day in the future, we suspect that you will look back on these comments and deeply regret them. It saddens us that one can have such a lack of understanding of what it means to be a member of the LGBT community. We have a feeling some day you’ll learn when someone close to you who is gay opens up your heart. We look forward to that day.

  • Ricardo Torresink says:

    Bev, no need to be saddened: the day I began to love my gay family members and friends happened probably in my childhood. I LOVE reading your blogs. You brilliantly impact our country’s most elite students and universities that shape our future leaders. I get to see tomorrow’s history being shaped. I’ll concede your point that being gay is not restricted to the bedroom. I also concede that I am not gay nor a part of the LBGT community. I was not being accusatory to your blogs and was not saying you advise students to attend any college diversity venue to increase odds. I just said, someone went to one specifically to show admissions they are diverse hoping for a hook.

    You speak to gay marriage: I am for it. I love to discuss parenting and life in general with my sister-in-law and her partner and their son at the holidays. My favorite friend is my cousin, Frank. I love being around Frank, not because or in spite of his homosexuality. He just makes me laugh and time seems to fly by when we’re together. Regards to bullies: Bullying by children should be judged as bad or worse than drugs or theft. Bullying is sickening regardless of if the reason is: weight, stuttering, shyness, sexuality, or ethnicity.We have no disagreement regarding a brilliant student writing openly about their life experience. That is America at its best. In fact, it is refreshing because honesty should not be governed by anyone.

    The pressure on Stanford, the NFL, or the local schools to respond to being questioned on how THEY act in regards to a MEMBER’S sexual preference in just the right way is exhausting, expensive, and promotes a form of populous censorship and fear.

    Bev, assuming the opening of another’s hearts by their beliefs is a very rampant academic response cloaked in p.c. or tolerance. The more we single out people for being different or a minority, the more we put the focus back on prejudice in one form or another. Telling someone with an open heart that they are close minded is a slippery slope.

    It’s difficult for thoughts like mine to be shared, and you certainly can tell brevity is not my strong suit 🙂 . I just think more can be accomplished through open thought than a sense of fear of open thought. Because of my respect for your intellect and passion for education, I feel an opportunity to share my thoughts here.

    I do not believe that being gay entitles anyone to a public platform nor is it heroism, newsworthy, or an opportunity to put others into a cultural fear and force a politically correct defense .

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