It's not often that Missouri is on the cutting edge of anything. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of a time it was. After living in a city and state for three years where red was almost believed to have just gone MIA from the color spectrum, it can be shocking sometimes when finding yourself in a conversation with certain political undertones. This past Sunday though, Missouri-the school and so by very default the state as well-found itself on the brink of cutting edge. One of their star football players, Michael Sam, a NFL prospect, came out as a gay man. Moreover, he was going to remain a NFL draft prospect, which would then make him [if drafted] the first openly gay professional football player. The caliber of the story on all that alone made it sensational enough. What possibly made it more of a human interest piece though was that through this whole past season, one where the Tigers found themselves Cotton Bowl champions and with a winning record in their second SEC season, Michael Sam's teammates knew. The surprises didn't stop there. Athletes from the Twittersphere, many whom don't shy away from making controversial remarks, sang their support. Most impressively still a school and its vast alumni base came together as their current motto suggests, One Mizzou.
Many days I look at news from various areas of interest coming out of my state and cringe. I don't think any tried and true Missourian is too hard pressed to think of any of these examples for me to have to list out. As a result, I often contemplate how I can possibly contribute to making things better and wonder when more people may start to do the same. Things always seem less lofty when others get involved. As it just so happens though, as seen through the myriad of ways support has been shown these past few days, people here were up to bigger things than I was giving them credit for. With that, I think we can all share in some pride.