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Thursday, October 19, 2017

MU’s Struble enthused by Sam’s announcement

Resource Center coordinator said announcement is a “huge step” in breaking stereotypes.


LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struble speaks at a news conference at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo., on Friday, Feb. 10. Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam recently announced that he is gay to ESPN and The New York Times.

Mike Krebs/Senior Staff Photographer

Feb. 12, 2014

Football spokesman Chad Moller fumbled with the letters at the press conference Monday.

“L-G-B-Q,” he said, before a reporter corrected him.

The word describing the community that Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam publically joined Sunday was new to most in the collegiate football community.

But for MU LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struble, Sam’s announcement was not that surprising. Although he never approached the center, Sam wore its promotional “MU Pride” bracelet on his right wrist for several games this year.

“The students within (the center) and I were thrilled and excited,” Struble said. “We are so proud to have such a spotlight from a national level on the supportive and wonderful campus we have.”

Struby said Sam’s decision is bigger than MU. She said Sam’s announcement will help break down many of the negative ideas that exist in the LGBT community, particularly in sports.

“There’s a stereotype that locker rooms will burst into flames or something if there’s a gay player, which is ridiculous,” Struble said.

Struble also said she liked that Sam owned up to most of his “salient” identities, including being a black male and a first-generation college student. Sam’s identities, Struble said, are important to talk about but maybe not right away.

“I think it’s a little unfair to ask him to be the main expert on LGBT rights because he is (busy as) a football player,” Struble said.

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