Weeks ago, news came out that shocked the football world, and the country. Michael Sam, an NFL hopeful, announced that he was gay. He became the first possible openly gay player in the NFL. Speculation began to creep up about whether or not players in the NFL would be ok with having a gay teammate. I want to point out why Michael Sam was a terrific leader in the situation.
Good leaders do what is right, which may not always be the easy thing to do. They can face backlash and criticism. However, Michael worked up the courage to let everyone know he was gay. He did this just months before the NFL draft. He came out when the responses to his announcement could’ve ruined his chance to play in the NFL. He did this because he is not scared of who he is. Great leaders acknowledge who they are, and don’t try to hide it. Instead they thrive off of it.
Not many people would do what Sam did. His leadership and lack of fear could lead to the floodgates opening in the future. Maybe now, more gay players will come forward and join Michael in being openly gay. This monumental decision that was made could lead to opportunities for others, which is exactly what a leader does. He takes the fear out of the followers and leads by example. Michael Sam’s announcement has lead to some skepticism by some current NFL players, but instead of hiding who he is, he came out and made a decision that only great leaders would make.