Michael Sam is a football player

Stacy Revere

What's important is whether he can sack the quarterback.

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out earlier this month in a very brave, very bold and very public way, announcing to the world via ESPN and the New York Times that he is gay.

And come draft day, the NFL is likely to have its first openly gay player somewhere on a team roster.

We must celebrate that fact.

We must applaud Sam for such a courageous act.

And now we must stop talking about it.

Not because we're homophobic. Not because we are uncomfortable with the issue. Not because it isn't a good story.

We should stop talking about it because it is irrelevant.

What's important is whether he can sack the quarterback.

Announcing publicly and on a national stage that he is gay was a monumental act of bravery on Sam's part.

And our reaction of discussing whether Sam's move was smart, whether an outwardly gay man can make it in professional sports, whether he's going to have a tough time fitting in with guys on a team now, whether it's just a distraction for draft day, whether his timing was calculated....

That shows cowardice on our part - as fans, coaches, players and reporters.

Sam didn't just tell us he was gay; he sent us a message - It is no longer okay for the NFL (or any other professional sport, business, or organization) to have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

People we work with, play with, sit next to in church as well as in the stands are gay and straight.

We really need to stop making that a big deal.

While several coaches and GMs - including John Elway - said Sam would be a welcome member of their teams if talent matched needs, there was still a vocal and non-vocal element of homophobia rippling through the NFL.

If anyone should be concerned, worried or scared, it is Sam.

He's the one with something to lose - pro contract, ostracism in the locker room, homophobic fans.

But we - the sports world - are the ones with something to gain.

If the NFL can move forward by not making Sam's sexual orientation a storyline, then maybe the rest of the world can start to understand that too.

Let's celebrate that Sam took a bold step in letting the world know he is gay.

Let's hope it may spark a shift toward acceptance in our society.

And now let's just focus on football.

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