Conservative columnist: Obama using gay NFL prospect Michael Sam to distract from Benghazi
Radio host Steve Deace during a December 2013 appearance.

Conservative columnist Steve Deace descended into self-parody by complaining that the Obama administration had somehow used the first openly gay NFL prospect to distract from Benghazi.

University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam publicly announced last month that he was gay in advance of the scouting events that precede the annual NFL draft.

Although Sam failed to impress pro scouts last week during the annual combine in Indianapolis, Deace sensed political – not historic – motives for sportswriters covering the event.

“The leftist media’s latest contrived attempt to distract the American people from the daily failures of the president who they cover for daily,” Deace said in a Washington Times column published Monday. “Mr. Sam generated headlines from shills and wannabes who just couldn’t get enough of the first ‘openly gay football player.’”

The columnist, who is also the author of “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again,” complained that these same NFL beat writers “have been trying to kill football the past two years because it’s too dangerous.”

“Now they can’t wait to rally around the rainbow flag,” Deace said. “And they wonder why their credibility is about as low as that of Congress.”

President Barack Obama expressed support for Sam during an interview he gave with former NBA star Charles Barkley before the pro league’s All-Star Game, which Deace saw as an intentional distraction.

“Not to be outdone, a flailing president who seemingly has no time to give answers to the families of four dead Americans at Benghazi, or the millions he broke a promise to that they could keep their current health insurance if they liked it, couldn’t wait to jump on Mr. Sam’s bandwagon,” Deace said.

Journeyman center Jason Collins became the NBA’s first openly gay player last week, months after announcing his status, and several former pro athletes have also announced they were gay once their athletic careers were over.

“As the media fawned and genuflected to Mr. Sam simply because he’s another star homosexual athlete, there was no time for serious questions about what this paradigm change means for the NFL or American culture at large,” Deace sneered. “No time for debate. No time for a difference of opinion.”

The columnist wondered whether Sam’s prospective teammates should feel comfortable with him in the locker room and shower, although his former teammates and roommate have said they knew the player was gay and had no problems with him.

“If you’re making the case we should undo the moral foundations of Western civilization and rewrite the Constitution to make way for your beliefs, shouldn’t you have to answer these sorts of questions first?” Deace asked.