Michael Sam: The Kiss, the Cake, and NFL Draft Day's Love Affair with the Male Body (Working Title)

Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law, Vol. 17 (2015-16), Forthcoming

Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 15-17

23 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2015 Last revised: 21 Sep 2015

Bryan L. Adamson

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2015

Abstract

This commentary explores the root of the virulent reactions to openly gay defensive end Michael Sam’s draft by the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams. Applauding his selection, the commentary offers a detailed analysis of the ESPN video that showed Michael Sam receiving the news with his male partner Vito Cammisano, their kisses, and cake smearing celebration. The essay then posits as a central thesis that it was the “cake play” which caused the most discomfit. In doing so, the essay examines Sam’s selection event through a lens of heteronormative constructs and explains how, for fans and the institution alike, the NFL and Draft Day are sites to perform, recreate, and reinforce masculine discourses. In surfacing the hypocrisy beneath those discourses, the essay also considers the ways in which Sam’s race and sexuality informed reactions to his draft. By integrating communication, interpersonal, and media theory frameworks with feminist and race critiques of masculinity, the commentary is a perspective on what was nothing less than a revolutionary event — the televised admission of an openly gay man into the NFL.

Keywords: Gay, Sports, Media, Race

Suggested Citation

Adamson, Bryan L., Michael Sam: The Kiss, the Cake, and NFL Draft Day's Love Affair with the Male Body (Working Title) (June 1, 2015). Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law, Vol. 17 (2015-16), Forthcoming; Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 15-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658847

Bryan L. Adamson (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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