Michael Sam’s Announcement Forced Change


It’s summer of 2003, my junior year of high school and I’m at the renowned Five Star basketball camp. Every morning our camp counselors lead over 350 of the best players the east coast had to offer with commands to stretch and get loose before workouts. One morning a counselor decided to lighten up the mood.

How many of you guys have girlfriends back home?

Some campers raised their hands.

How many of you have a best friend back home?

Seeing where this was going, most didn’t reply.

How many of y’all realize that your girlfriend is with your best friend right now?

A nervous chuckle answered his question. Then he asked something that wasn’t so unanimously amusing.

Is anyone here a homosexual? There’s nearly 400 campers here, gentlemen. Just by playing the percentages, one of you has to be gay. That’s OK. I’ve had gay teammates and you will at some point, too.

Perhaps his methods were off, but statistically he had a point. According to the National Opinion Research Center, by 2003 roughly 5% of sexually active males had male partners by age 18. There’s no concrete data to say how many of that small percentage are athletes. Given the environment, how many of those athletes would feel safe to be themselves.