Arizona Football commit 2017 My-King Johnson is breaking barriers

Nov 25, 2016; Tucson, AZ, USA; A general view of an Arizona Wildcats helmet displaying a sticker to honor offensive lineman Zach Hemmila (65) before the Territorial Cup against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2016; Tucson, AZ, USA; A general view of an Arizona Wildcats helmet displaying a sticker to honor offensive lineman Zach Hemmila (65) before the Territorial Cup against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

Arizona Football 2017 commit  My-King Johnson is breaking barriers in college football, we all hope he continues breaking barriers through offensive lines.

Michael Sam Jr., a former Missouri defensive end, was the first NCAA player to come out at the end of his college career as he entered the NFL draft. He was drafted last by the St. Louis Rams. Sam followed that up at the ESPY’s with a speech that wet eyes of many, as he spoke of the difficulties of growing up and hiding his sexuality.

But at that time, no one had entered the NCAA as an openly gay football player. The man that will go down in history for being bold and being himself, will be Wildcats’ commit, My-King Johnson.

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On Friday, Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star published a post that caught our attention, “Openly gay football recruit My-King Johnson will make history with Arizona Wildcats.” We won’t hash out the story in our post, and you can read Zack’s story on Johnson HERE.

Immediately, all of us at Zona Zealots were not only impressed with the way Zack told Johnson’s story, but the story moved us. In this day and age, most teenagers don’t bat an eye when someone comes out of the closet and states they are gay. Thankfully, there are people in this world that create a safe haven for people to be themselves and not have to hide.

According to Rosenblatt, Arizona coach Vince Amey is blazing the trail, and we are proud that the Wildcats have such a supportive man as a coach.

According to Rosenblatt, Johnson sacked incoming Catalina Foothills QB Rhett Rodriguez three times in a game and more:

"The Wildcats need him. Johnson amassed 22 sacks as a junior, including 6½ in one late-season game against Seton Catholic. He added 21½ more sacks, 19 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a senior."

At Zona Zealots, we were happy to hear that Johnson committed to the University of Arizona after de-committing from UCLA, and nothing has changed. We wanted to share our sentiments which come from different perspectives and parts of the country. We are posting this on the eve of the Academy Awards when Moonlight won Best Picture which seems appropriate.

Zachary Benz

My take: From a PURELY football standpoint, it is great that Johnson committed to Arizona, it is great that the coaching staff is accepting him with open arms, and I hope he has a great season. That’s that.

Now, there are some things that are more than just PURELY football. Football is generally viewed as one of, if not the, most masculine sport in America. Homosexual men, however, are generally not seen as incredibly masculine. My-King Johnson is breaking a huge barrier for the sport and for society in general.

It is incredibly foolish to discount or diminish each other’s differences when in fact it is our differences that make us special. Different is not synonymous with bad. To ignore My-King Johnson’s sexual orientation is to ignore a huge part of his personal identity, as well as diminish his impact as a potential role model for other athletes of all ages.

This will make no impact between the sidelines, hopefully, for Johnson. Some things, though, are more important than what happens on the field. This is one of those things.

Kevin Jiang

I’m personally very happy that My-King Johnson felt comfortable enough to be true to himself and that he found a program that is willing to accept him for who he is. Even better, it just so happens to be our University of Arizona Wildcats football team that is welcoming him in with open arms. Proud of the school, the student and the player and I am eager to see My-King suited in an Arizona Wildcats football uniform in the fall.

David Rosen

My take is that, it’s 2017 and who cares about your sexual orientation. As long as you perform well on the field and handle yourself with class on and off the field, that’s all that matters! And it seems like this guy fits that mold and really excited to see the impact he will make for the Cats.

Mark Barrera

Plain and simple. Welcome to Arizona young man! Put in the work and take care of business on the field.

Peggy McClain

It’s sad that once again a person is identified by one aspect, and this time it is sexuality. God made the whole person, and that’s what we care about. I hope this doesn’t turn into a media circus. Like Mark said, just play ball, please don’t get injured, and Bear Down. Glad a fellow Tempean saw the light and is heading to U of A.

Eric Townsend

My sentiment is that, I’m glad he felt comfortable and confident enough to do this and the staff isn’t making it a big deal. It’s not our place to judge whether you agree with the lifestyle or not, as human we should value each life, and celebrate their differences. With that said, it’s now known, and there’s nothing to hide or continue to report on. As My-King said, “I’m just here to play football.” Personally, I’m more interested in what he can contribute as a player, and can he ultimately have a successful, healthy career, and help Arizona win games.

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That leaves my sentiment. Having two millennials myself, I am painfully aware of the hardships their openly gay friends went through growing up, and the fact that they had to take a stand at times to support those friends. My children are agnostic when it comes to where a person comes from, how they look or who they love. I am proud of that, and I think that 90% of My-King’s future teammates feel the same way, and if they don’t? It seems that if anyone is going to change their mind, it will be Johnson. Read Zack’s story, and you find out why.

I’m just so happy the Arizona coaching staff landed a “Big dude” on defense, Rich Rod said we need more of those. Welcome to the Wildcats My-King! Bear Down!