The hoopla regarding Michael Sam and the kiss seen all over ESPN reached a fevered pitch over the weekend. Of course, Twitter chimed in with its two bitcoins worth of opinion.
While the focus should be on the newly-minted St. Louis Rams‘ ability to play on the field, many have honed in on the first openly gay player’s reaction to being a part of the NFL. Shortly after learning of his selection by phone, a visibly emotional Sam turned to his boyfriend and kissed him. The emotional outburst became a trending topic, courting reactions from former Super Bowl champions to President Obama himself.
“I’m sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national TV,” said Derrick Ward, a former NFL great. “Man U [sic] got little kids looking at the draft. I can’t believe ESPN even allowed that to happen,” Ward added. The former New York Giants and Houston Texans running back was free to share his opinion with the world, but sharing what you think with the world has had its consequences.
Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones also expressed his disapproval, tweeting “horrible” and “OMG” after the kiss was aired. His reactions caused his mentions and retweets to skyrocket, which prompted the league to fine him for his negative tweet.
While we’re still hoping for a more open-minded populace, the NFL (and others) have moved forward. The kiss symbolized a change within the culture, and served as a touchstone moment in American culture. To paraphrase ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, “NFL tackled homosexuality. Time for the next game.” Twitter, in all its infinite wisdom, didn’t get the memo, and so we’re spotlighting the 25 most definitive reactions to Michael Sam’s kiss.
Got an opinion? Let us know in the comments below.