Monday, February 10, 2014

Two Stories

Over the weekend, we had two things that grabbed the sports fan.
Marcus Smart
First, the Marcus Smart incident at Texas Tech. Smart, from Oklahoma State, charged in late and fell into the crowd, where a clown of a fan named Jeff Orr said something stupid. Smart shoved the fan and earned a three-game suspension.

Mr. Yates, apparently, has offered to give up his tickets for the rest of the season.

Everyone apologized and we will move on. But, still. Sigh...
Michael Sam
Then last night, Michael Sam told the world what he told his teammates at Missouri last summer: that he was gay.

Again, of course, this is news. But, still. Sigh...

And yes, yes,'s my job to talk about both of these topics tonight at seven on The Press Box. But each topic, in its own way, seems so unnecessary.

I want each athlete to survive each controversy. I want them each to prosper. I want to think of Michael Sam as an athlete. If he plays for, say, the Cowboys, I want to root against him. If he's on the Steelers, I want to root for him.

The point is, I want him to simply be an athlete. A player. Not "the first openly gay male in major team sports."

I also want Marcus Smart to go on without us thinking of him as the guy who did that thing that time.

We'll talk about this later today. Yet I still find myself going back to the same reaction.


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