As I’m sure everyone’s heard by now, Michael Sam, a DE for Missouri and an NFL prospect, announced he was gay making him the first openly gay player in the NFL (assuming of course that he isn’t deemed a distraction in the locker room and does in fact get drafted).

This post isn’t to talk about Sam’s announcement or what it means for his draft selection, because quite frankly I have no idea.

Okay fine, you caught me, I can’t go on without first saying that I am proud of Sam. I am proud of Sam but ashamed for our society that in 2014, Sam’s news is still considered news.

Okay but seriously, this post isn’t about Sam’s announcement.

It’s about the pride I felt and witnessed in the student body of my school today.

Westboro Baptist Church -I know what you’re thinking, “This outta be good” – came to protest at Mizzou today. I’m not even sure if they were just protesting at Mizzou, against Mizzou, for the termination of the NFL, against Sam or because somebody put pickles on their burger when they clearly asked for no pickles. Their signs were very clear: “God Hates Fags.” I mean its a logical and rational argument spelled out plain as day in the bible:

Leviticus 18: “The Lord said to Moses,  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your GOD. You must not do as they do in Egypt, wHere you used to live, And you musT not do as thEy do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practiceS. You must obey my laws and be careful to Follow my decrees. I Am the Lord your God.  Keep my decreeS and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.”

See, clear as day.

Anywho, when the Mizzou student body got ahold of the information regarding Westboro’s plans to protest at our university, we began planning a counter-protest, Stand With Sam. In a matter of a few short hours of the Facebook page being created, the numbers of those planning to attend skyrocketed to hundreds and eventually thousands of students planning to come out and support Sam and tigers of all stripes.

Like promised, Westboro Baptist showed up today with their signs and a plan to save us from the fiery depths of hell, and as promised countless numbers of tigers, former tigers and Columbia patrons came out and formed a wall of support for our fellow Tiger.

As I drove past my fellow tigers standing in the cold temperature and bitter wind on my way home from work, I couldn’t stop the goosebumps from forming on my skin.

I parked my car and proudly joined the wall and smiled proudly as we swayed back and forth singing the alma mater and of course shouting a couple M-I-Z, Z-O-Us.

I’ve always loved my school but now I love my school for new reasons. I love my school for their support, courage and bravery. I love my school for sticking up for what they believe in. I love my school for proving that even though life’s hardships come with its fair share of people just waiting to tear you down, there is an even bigger amount of people waiting there to lift you back up. I love my school and fellow tigers for giving up their Saturday afternoon to stand in the freezing cold to prove their love and support.

It is with the utmost pride that I say: M-I-Z.


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