Conservative Newt Gingrich has come to
the defense of people offended by Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend
on national television.
On Saturday, the 24-year-old Sam became
the first openly gay football player drafted by the NFL after the
All-American defensive end was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the
seventh and final round of this year's draft.
ESPN broadcast the emotional moment
when Sam received the call that he had been picked by the Rams. Sam
tearfully reach for his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, and the couple
shared a kiss.
A day after Miami Dolphins safety Don
Jones tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible,” the team fined him and
ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. Jones apologized,
saying in a statement that he wishes Sam “all the best in his NFL
Derrick Ward, a former NFL player, was
criticized for chiding ESPN for broadcasting the kiss. “U got
little kids lookin at the draft,” he wrote.
“You guys talk about how you want to
be inclusive,” Gingrich told CNN Crossfire co-host Van Jones
and contributor Jamal Anderson. “It strikes me, that's repression,
that's not inclusive.”
Gingrich characterized Ward and Jones
as the victims: “Shouldn't you be teaching people who are gay to be
open and understanding?”
at Raw Story, Arturo Garcia noted that Gingrich ignored the
barrage of homophobic messages Sam received on social media.
Gingrich described Sam breaking
barriers in the NFL as a “fiasco” and suggested that he had not
earned his spot in the draft.
“You've got this clever young guy who
has manipulated the system brilliantly. Just watch the Visa
commercial,” Gingrich said, a reference to a spot in which Sam asks
to be judged by his performance on the field. (The video is embedded
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