Shame & Gender II: What it means to be a man

Joe Ehrmann, former offensive lineman for the Baltimore Colts, recently spoke with NPR reporters about his more formative years as a budding male athlete. In his interview, Ehrmann shared how being told to “be a man,” meaning encouraged to not experience and certainly not to reveal any sort of vulnerability or emotion, as a young person drastically affected his life. Meanwhile, last week Michael Sam, the first openly gay person drafted by a NFL team, was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPY Awards Ceremony. I have attached the video clip of his rather emotional acceptance speech below in case you missed it. What is arguably so moving about his speech and being drafted in the first place is that it forces us to rethink the concept of what it means to be a man. The NFL, much like many professional sports, has a long history of perpetuating the patriarchal stigma that being a man means that you somehow do not feel, you only win, conquer, dominate. However, what takes more courage and strength as a man than having the willingness to not hide who you are in a world that so frequently encourages you to stay in the shadows?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi5fXf4R9Bk

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