This message was received loud and clear by those covering the co-ordinated outing of Michael Sam.
As noted in SOBL's previous post, the agents for Sam and their minders in the media knew they had complete top cover to ensure maximum message control over the process (up to a point). They would dole all the friendly outlets a piece of this tasty pie. They had to move the date up, but there was no real fear it would ruin their plan. From the outsports exclusive "Behind The Scenes":
"While it was a decent chance before Saturday that the story would get leaked publicly, there was suddenly zero percent chance the story would hold until Monday afternoon. Someone would break the news early even if they didn't have the story. The only thing I felt holding back other media outlets was the firestorm of venom thrown at ESPN and Grantland three weeks earlier for outing a trans woman. If it hadn't been for the reaction to that story, someone would have already jumped the gun."A new standard has just been established (I mean, except for Republicans). A new battlefront in World War G has been opened. Football is source of escapism for millions of Americans and most will have little to no issue with a gay man playing the game. But that won't stop many from criticizing the anonymous (thankfully for their careers) player personnel execs who discussed potential reasons why Sam could fall on draft day, or why a team could pass on him, even though he may be in their desirable draft slot range:
"That will break a tie against that player," the former general manager said. "Every time. Unless he's Superman. Why? Not that they're against gay people. It's more that some players are going to look at you upside down. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the media is going to show up, from Good Housekeeping to the Today show. A general manager is going to ask, 'Why are we going to do that to ourselves?'"