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Ex-Mizzou QB James Franklin: ‘I wouldn’t say supportive, but accepting’ of Michael Sam

James Franklin Getty Images

There are many facets and levels to Michael Sam‘s game-changing revelation this past weekend that will continue to reveal themselves as the discussion of gays in sports moves forward.

Case in point?  James Franklin.

Franklin was Missouri’s starting quarterback during most of Sam’s time with the football program and was one of the teammates to whom the defensive lineman came out during summer camp last August.  The picture painted by the program’s head coach and the university’s athletic director was that it was all puppy dogs and unicorns following Sam’s announcement of his homosexuality, with Gary Pinkel stating that he took “great pride in how Michael and everyone in our program handled his situation.”

Almost immediately after Sam publicly came out as being gay, former Mizzou tight end and Sam’s roommate Eric Waters called out his former teammates on Twitter, writing that “[h]alf y’all posting these pics saying how proud you are… [were] the ones talkin s**t behind his back in the locker room.”

The deeply-religious Franklin — those beliefs were the subplot of a controversy two seasons ago — was asked by of all places about Sam, who will likely become the first active, openly-gay player in the NFL.  Franklin, as has ofttimes been the case, minced no words.

“I don’t drink.  I don’t curse.  I don’t support [homosexuality] — but it doesn’t mean I don’t accept Michael,” Franklin says.

When asked if he was supportive of Sam when he made his announcement in August, Franklin said … “I wouldn’t say supportive, but accepting.  A lot of people confuse supporting and accepting.”

In an interview with the Columbia Missourian, Franklin added some context to his comments that appeared on TMZ.

“I grew up to say, ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘yes, sir,'” Franklin said. “You know the saying, ‘hate the sin, not the sinner.’ I was raised a certain way — like I don’t to drink and swear.”

“But I would not look down on anyone for what they choose to do in their personal life,” Franklin, whose father is an evangelical minister, continued. “I love Michael (Sam) and will always be there for him.”

Again, multiple layers and myriad facets still to come — as even those close to Sam are still finding out and processing and coming to grips with.

(Tip O’ the Cap:

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38 Responses to “Ex-Mizzou QB James Franklin: ‘I wouldn’t say supportive, but accepting’ of Michael Sam”
  1. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:20 PM

    Completely ok with what he said. While I support gay rights on America, I support others rights to disagree with me. Too times people made to feel ashamed. Tolerance and acceptance are not the same as support.

    I do not think anyone should be forced to support gay rights, but simply be tolerant or accepting of homosexuals as humans.

    Most people opposed to gay rights aren’t against homosexuals as people, just holding onto to a religious ideal.

  2. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:21 PM

    If we want equality, we have to allow for an opposing view, as long as tolerance and acceptance are mutually agreed upon.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 11, 2014 5:35 PM


    That is very well said and that is what makes this country great….

    Where it’s gets dicey is when people think their opinion gives them the right to trample on others rights.

    Case in point: Gay Marriage. You (not you personally) are well within your rights to not be supportive of the homosexual lifestyle. You are well within your rights to subscribe to a religion that shuns this lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that your opinion or your religion should get to infringe on their right to things like access to the protections and privileges of legal marriage.

  4. pfic15 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:38 PM

    Non-story….kid was asked. He answered.

  5. pfic15 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:39 PM

    In all honesty, being a Christian openly is looked down upon more often in today’s media.

  6. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:39 PM

    Well said 8to 8.

    I personally accept gay marriage, for I have many people in my life that it affects. Plus, it’s the right thing. No argument against it has even come close to making a strong case against in my eyes. Religion is not valid regarding Gov laws.

    But I’m with those who oppose it. I would never deny them their right to feel and voice their opinion.

  7. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:57 PM

    @pfc I whole heartedly disagree. That’s just an excuse many Christians use to cover their failure to manipulate the mass population to believe what they want. Many Christians act as if America is wrong for not allowing them to mandate and legislate morality. The constitution forbids Christians from forcing non-Christians from being held to Christians rules and morals. How would you feel if an Islamic church tried to make a law that EVERYONE has to pray 5 times a day? You’d be opposed to that but when it’s YOUR religion, screw everyone else.

    The only thing shunned about Christianity today is when a “Christian” attempts to force their belief on others. That deserves a shunning.

    And I am Christian. I have not felt shunned once. Maybe because I’m not trying to force my belief on anyone.

  8. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:59 PM


    I’m speaking about those who do feel this country should ban gay marriage. So I’m not saying YOU specifically if you do not fall into that group.

  9. Professor Fate says: Feb 11, 2014 6:08 PM

    Drinking and/or swearing (or not) are choices. Your sexual orientation is not a choice and never has been. The equipment you are born with sometimes does not jibe with the brain’s wiring. The result is asexuality (some people have no desire to engage in sexual activity), homosexuality, bisexuality, and nymphomania/satyriasis.

    Franklin’s position from a religious standpoint disregards well-known science, as usual, when he infers that sexual orientation is somehow a “choice.”

    “Acceptance” is in fact “supportive,” unless Franklin was intentionally misleading. I found his comments to be a form of splitting hairs in that he tried to feign “tolerance” while being sure to add that he wasn’t raised to actually be tolerant and did not care to try to change that shortcoming.

    Once again a very simple, and often simply ignored, question must be asked: Why would anyone “choose” an orientation that results in being ridiculed, ostracized, and discriminated against?

    Science, bitches, it answers all the important questions regardless of your love for a particular fantasy.

  10. oldschoolnflman says: Feb 11, 2014 6:18 PM

    What Christian rules and mandates are they trying to force everyone to live by? Or do you just regurgitate talking points from MSNBC?

  11. oldschoolnflman says: Feb 11, 2014 6:20 PM

    States are having trouble passing gay marriage because a majority of the people still aren’t for it. They aren’t all Christians, but feel free to blame them for every problem in America again. You think if Christians had majority voting power in this country they would ever be a president who supports abortion?

  12. mrlaloosh says: Feb 11, 2014 6:32 PM

    Amen, Franklin. amen.

  13. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 6:44 PM


    For one, I didn’t blame all America’s problems on Christians. You clearly didn’t read what I posted.

    Gay marriage laws are failing because they are unconstitutional and majority rule doesn’t apply if it goes against the constitution. So that is a irrelevant argument. The Supreme Court made that clear.

    Next, I’ve never watched MSNBC. So while you’re quick to decide who and what I am with no way of knowing, you were dead wrong. How would you feel if I claimed you only watched Fox News? I’m not so foolish to belittle you so much to insinuate you’re view MUST come from some mass media. I’m an intelligent person who learns through my own efforts and research. If you’re so incapable that you conclude everyone gets their info from mass media, that’s on you, but don’t think everyone’s incapable of forming independent opinions. If you are so incapable.

    Further more, the rule being forced on America is that marriage is only between a man and woman. Luckily for those of us who realize the tyrannical nature of such a law, as stated, it was deemed unconstitutional.

    Do not be so foolish to think that every issue is apart of every argument. You bring up abortion, yet LAW settled that argument.

    Answer me this, how would you feel of a majority of citizens voted and passed a law mandating all homes be in possession of a Koran? You’d be opposed to it yes? Why? Well, that same answer is likely why non-Christians grow weary of Christians trying to force Christian beliefs on America.

    And finally, you didn’t read where I stated clearly I am a Christian. So I clearly do believe all Christians do what I’ve described.

    But continue to fail at debating. You can’t argue counter points I never made in the first place.

    You should spend less time with a closed mind. You may learn something.

  14. Deb says: Feb 11, 2014 6:47 PM

    We don’t have to agree with one another’s beliefs and lifestyles. We just have to accept each other’s right to practice our beliefs and live our lives peacefully, without interference. James Franklin expressed that beautifully.

  15. bender4700 says: Feb 11, 2014 6:56 PM

    Amen Deb! Thankfully, more people agree with you than don’t.

  16. derekgorgonstar says: Feb 11, 2014 6:56 PM

    I watch MSNBC.

    Especially Chris Hayes. I like her.

  17. normtide says: Feb 11, 2014 8:26 PM

    He answered it perfectly. Almost exactly how I feel.

  18. chiadam says: Feb 11, 2014 9:22 PM

    He was doing so well right up until that last quote. Sam did not CHOSE to be gay any more than he chose to be black or an Asian guy chose to be Asian.

  19. chiefdog says: Feb 11, 2014 9:59 PM

    Race is a proven genetic trait. Where has it been proven that homosexuality is genetic and not chosen?

  20. mattacc31 says: Feb 11, 2014 10:10 PM

    Wow chiefdog it’s people like you that make this particular story a story. The kid was asked a question and gave his answer and didn’t have anything negative to say. That’s not news but because of the topic it is still news due to opinions like this.

    While neither myself or anyone close to me are gay I can honestly say that is an insane opinion. Who would ever CHOOSE to be gay? Knowing that you won’t be treated equally and in some cases will have plenty of people speaking/acting out against you.

  21. chiefdog says: Feb 11, 2014 10:22 PM

    People choose many things that make them an outsider in the publics opinion. Just because it an alternative lifestyle to the mainstream does mean its not a choice. If I chose two be in a bigamous relationship would it be any different or should I claim genetics without proof? Genetics are the current crutch for society because there are so many unknowns. If someone has any differences with society it can’t be their fault it MUST be their genetics. Signed a guy who knows much more about genetics than you sir.

  22. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 12:26 AM

    Science has shown that our characteristics are only 40% nature, at best. The rest is nurture, as in events in your life shape you. Recent psychology studies have shown rejection in the early teens may be a trigger for homosexuality. I doubt anyone is born gay. Religion and evolution both reject the idea. I’m also not saying gays should be ostracized. It’s been around since at least ancient Greece. Never get trapped into the narrative that either side wants to push.

  23. chiefdog says: Feb 12, 2014 1:07 AM

    Well said normtide.

  24. louhudson23 says: Feb 12, 2014 4:24 AM

    Having an opinion is your right. But your rights do not include the right to your own facts. The fact is that people do not choose their sexuality. Physiologically and psychologically,I did not choose to be straight anymore than I chose who I would fall in love with. I did not sit down and consider the pros and cons of both loving men and wommen,and compare my feelings for men versus my feelings for women and then decide upon women. There was no “signing day” and I did not pick up one cap and then put it down and choose another….Nor did my gay friends and family members. Nor did anyone who is reading this. It simply did not happen. So,this young man and anyone else who utters the word “choose” in this context is wrong.Period.Ignorance of reality and fact are not an excuse to utter such nonsense.

  25. txstatebobcats1868 says: Feb 12, 2014 5:27 AM

    regardless how you feel about the situation, this kid definitely dropped a round if not more in the draft for coming out before hand, as this is still a public taboo.

    That being said, yes homosexuality is partly a choice that coincides with what normtide spoke of on nurture. Its not ignorance, its fact. If it was natural, parts would align, but obviously they dont.

  26. chiefdog says: Feb 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    Louhudson there are many choices about what you like and dislike that you don’t sit down and make an active decision about such as what foods you like to eat, which sports interest you and even which teams are your favorite. Yet you still made those decisions because in no way did genetics play a part in that.

  27. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 12, 2014 10:20 AM

    chiefdog says:
    Feb 11, 2014 9:59 PM

    Race is a proven genetic trait. Where has it been proven that homosexuality is genetic and not chosen?

    Just because it can’t be proven, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist….. Christians should be well aware of that concept….

    I read an article about a study from the National Institute from Mathematical and Biological Synthesis that said it has to do with epigenetics, not genetics. While not directly affecting the DNA code, the epi marks in question affect how the genes express themselves during fetal development…

    I am not a scientist by any means, and this was just a study, by no means proof. But the lack of concrete genetic evidence is by no means proof that it’s a choice.

  28. cfballfan1 says: Feb 12, 2014 10:23 AM

    Exceptionally well – stated James Franklin.

    Too bad so many have such a skewed view of what “tolerance” really means.

  29. louhudson23 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:28 PM

    So what fellow exactly did all you fellows think about when making “your choice”?

  30. louhudson23 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:31 PM

    Yo chiefdog, You just gave a list of things that I do indeed make a conscious choice about. And my sexuality is not one of them.

  31. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 4:04 PM

    Ok, what advantage does genetic homosexuality bring? Evolution is driven by the notion of passing your genes to offspring. You can’t claim science proves it’s genetic when that flies in the face of evolution. Here is another secret about science. In a hundred years most of what we think is fact will be disproved. Quantum physics is already doing that. In fact, it clearly points to a holographic universe, which in turn leads to a creator.

    But all that aside. They young man is a human being and deserves the same respect that others do. Judge him on his character, which seems pretty solid to me. On Feb 12, 2014 11:32 AM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > louhudson23 commented: “Yo chiefdog, You just gave a list of things > that I do indeed make a conscious choice about. And my sexuality is not one > of them.”

  32. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 12, 2014 5:22 PM

    normtide says:
    Feb 12, 2014 4:04 PM

    Ok, what advantage does genetic homosexuality bring? Evolution is driven by the notion of passing your genes to offspring. You can’t claim science proves it’s genetic when that flies in the face of evolution.

    Actually what the article I read says is that the “epimarks” on the genetic code are passed down from the opposite sex parent. These epimarks are designed to protect the fetus from natural variations in hormones. But they are supposed to detach themselves at a certain point. In some cases, they don’t and the fetus is denied testosterone or given too much. This manifests itself in many different ways including sexual orientation.

    But if this is an issue of biology and not of personal choice as many people have professed, than how can it be a sin? Because a 2500 year old text that also said adultery should be punishable by death said it was?

  33. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 12, 2014 5:23 PM

  34. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 9:47 PM

    Thank you 8to80. An intelligent response with data. That’s how you discuss an issue.

    Biblical texts concerning those ancient laws, in my opinion, were very important for those agrarian cultures. I tend to see the bible as a book not of the outer world, but of the inner self. My libertarian sense of the world tells me that if your not hurting anyone else, what you do is none of my concern.

    There are many studies that say alcohol addiction is genetic, some say being a criminal is genetic. I personally believe a person is responsible for everything in there own lives. Including your sexual preference. To me calling it genetic is a cop out. Saying they would change it if they could. Doesn’t that demean their sexuality? That they are gay only because they are forced to be. That plays into all the bigot’s arguments. Isn’t it more liberating and profound for them to say they are what they WANT to be? Either way, that’s my view on the matter. Free will is still the second strongest force in the universe, behind compound interest. On Feb 12, 2014 4:23 PM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > 8to80texansblog commented: ” > > “

  35. ohiobears says: Feb 12, 2014 10:37 PM

    Bender. As a Christian we don’t try to be a nuisance by trying to force our beliefs on others. I believe in a place called Heaven. I believe in a place called Hell. I believe I’m the Holy Bible and believe we need to live according to its word. When I see people living. It according to this, and I try to educate them or help them, I’m not trying to be a jerk. Imagine blind people walking in a large pack, slowly. They’re walking and walking and then there is a large cliff. Your watching them walk right off a cliff and disappear, one by one. YOUR job as a Christian is to try to save them, warn them, try to redirect them. You sitting on the good of your car as a spectator is not being a Christian… We are all sinners in need of God’s Grace brother. That’s fact.

  36. huskerguy says: Feb 12, 2014 11:57 PM

    I am baffled someone linked Wikipedia and webmd…

  37. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 13, 2014 10:39 AM


    I respect your comments and think they were very well said, and believe they are very representative of what many in the Christian religion believe.

    But I also feel that it’s the attitude that Christians must save “the blind” from walking over “the cliff” that frustrates a lot of non Christians.

    Especially when what’s deemed a “cliff” is defined by a 1700 year old book.

  38. yrusoentitled says: Feb 14, 2014 3:13 AM

    Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. What do you do, James Franklin?!?!? Oh, I know, you have premartial sex with Molly. Funny how that sin is overlooked. Heck, even “supported. ” The way so-called Christians pick and choose what to follow or condem in the Bible is remarkable. In fact, THAT should be even more of a sin, really, shouldn’t it?

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