Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football League (NFL), is now the target of the Westboro Baptist Church’s ridicule after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams. The notorious hate group announced that they had made and posted a Beatles song parody directed at Sam.
Westboro Baptist Church recently announced the re-emergence of the parody, sung to the tune of The Beatles’ “Get Back,” on the church’s blog. They wrote, “Now that the fag-dust settled and the Rams had to face a season with filthy fag Michael Sam and his ineptitude, they cut him.”
The group of religious extremists also blamed Sam for the controversy surrounding the town of Ferguson in Missouri, which is experiencing unrest due to racial tensions sparked by the shooting of African-American teen Michael Brown. Westboro Baptist Church issued a release on August 20 stating that one of the reasons the town is undergoing the upheaval is because of God’s wrath surrounding the drafting of Sam to the NFL.
“Missouri has made itself known worldwide for three things: Fags (e.g. Michael Sam); bestiality; and shredding the constitution in order to remove the Word of God from their streets,” wrote the Westboro Baptist Church in the release.
— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) August 22, 2014
The group reportedly planned to picket the funeral of Brown on account of the openly gay NFL player. “Westboro to Michael Brown’s family >> No dead body worship! No lies! No human agenda! Invite us to preach! @donlemon,” they tweeted on August 21.
— WBC Signs (@WBCsigns) August 21, 2014
Sam was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams in May after he came out in his senior year at the University of Missouri. At the time, Rams coach Jeff Fisher reportedly made it clear that he had picked Sam for his talent and not because of his sexual orientation. However, Sam was one of the players that was cut as the Rams trimmed down to 53 players before the start of the 2014 NFL season.
Reports previously circulated that Sam might be enlisted for the Rams’ practice team, but the team has confirmed that the player would not be part of it, since defense is one of its strengths and doesn’t need boosting.
Sam is reportedly taking the news in stride. He tweeted on Sunday, “The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known. The journey continues.”
The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known. The journey continues.
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 30, 2014