Draft Day

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By Kelsey Miller 

The NFL Draft is an event that every almost every football fan can look forward to. Particularly in the first round, the most elite and outstanding players from colleges around the country are selected to live their dream playing in the NFL.

The emotion that players feel when they get to that level of acceptance is like none other. It is empowering to see young men moving forward with their lives and taking the next step to be a role model to young fans. NFL Network caught all the action in New York from the hugs and kisses of friends and family, the joyous tears and supportive fan bases.

This year’s draft had many surprises, especially Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel not being a top pick after one of the most amazing performances from a college quarterback. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns who haven’t had much luck in the past few decades. Michael Sam, Missouri defensive lineman who came out to the public months prior to the draft, was selected as the first openly gay NFL player.

Despite media criticism on his ability for NFL play and body structure, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the last to be selected in the first round. He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings and hopes to show his mother, a breast cancer survivor, what he is capable of in the world of professional football.

Young men around the world wishing to be athletes can learn a lot from watching the NFL Draft. Players from all walks of life are accepted into an elite group from hard work, dedication and fighting through adversity. One day, your son or nephew could hear the words that would give any hopeful athlete goose bumps.

“With the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select…”

Michael Sam: First Openly Gay NFL Prospect

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By Maceo Lester 

On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson became the first person of color to participate in a major league sports event. Robinson was clearly breaking a huge barrier as America was still home to segregated schools and public areas. Entering “America’s Game” as an African-American was truly going against the grain.

America in 2014 is a much different place; the “melting-pot” consists of several different races of people who are more socially accepted, including homosexuals.

But there’s something missing; that barrier-breaker who can catapult homosexuals to being accepted on a higher platform. Last week that person arrived. On February 9th, former Missouri Tigers defensive end, Michael Sam, told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay. Sam’s announcement launched mixed responses via social media. Sam gained many supporters around the sports world, on the contrary, others aren’t so sure of how to react to a homosexual teammate or opponent.  Locker room situations can be made uncomfortable, “how am I supposed to respond,” Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans Saints expressed his concerns of homosexuals in football prior to Sam’s announcement.

As Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB years ago, he was forced to endure hatred and racial slurs from fans, opponents, and even his own teammates. Sam should expect much of the same. The NFL is the epitome of a “macho-man” sport, and many may believe that homosexuals don’t belong. But in the year 2014, society is slowly but surely changing. Same-sex marriages are becoming legal in more states and it is clearly evident that some American citizens are more lenient towards people’s sexual preference.