NFL Draft Prospect Michael Sam Announces he’s Gay
By Jason Marcum
Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Sam, a ferocious 260-pound Missouri Tigers defensive end, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and likely a high draft pick in May’s NFL draft, has announced he is gay.
"“I’m Michael Sam. I’m a football player and I’m gay,” Sam told The New York Times. “I’m not afraid to tell the world who I am. I’m Michael Sam. I’m a college graduate. I’m African-American, and I’m gay.”"
Sam announced the news to his teammates during a team-building exercise before last season and now he is sharing his story with the world. Sam had said that he didn’t want the news to leak before the NFL Draft, so he was ready to let everyone know now.
He even said some of his teammates already knew and were just waiting for him to say it. After coming out to the team, Sam said he felt more secure with himself and was able to go on and have an All-American season this past tear that will hopefully lead to him being drafted high in the 2014 NFL draft.
No NFL player has announced publicly he’s gay while his career is active. Several former players have said they’re gay after retiring, but no player has ever had to endure the notion that he is gay while actively playing.
This shouldn’t deter teams from drafting him in May’s NFL draft, but the media attention this will garner will likely be similar to what Manti Te’o went through during the draft process last year:
In the end, hopefully this doesn’t affect Sam’s pursuit of his NFL dreams, but this is an unprecedented situation he is going through.
He just had an opportunity to do a live interview on ESPN to talk about his admission.