Missouri's Michael Sam Admits Sexual Orientation, Set to Become First Openly Gay Player in the NFL
By James Patrick Quizon | February 10, 2014 2:32 PM EST
No more secrets before he turns pro. Missouri’s Michael Sam has admitted that he is gay after publicly admitting his sexual orientation via the New York Times on Sunday.
Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) reacts after a play during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington
“I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it,” said Sam in the interview. “I just want to own my truth.”
While he has gone public in this revelation, his teammates at Missouri already knew about him being gay after a team-building exercise at a practice during a season. Sam said that he never had problems with his Tigers teammates after the disclosing the truth and that they have accepted him for who he is.
The 6-foot-1, 260 pound defensive end is hoping he’d get the same treatment when he starts playing in the pros.
“I’m not naive,” Sam said to ESPN.COM. “I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is. But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the NFL."
Sam is expected to be drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft and is projected to go somewhere between the third and fifth rounds. If and when drafted, he becomes the first openly gay player while playing in the NFL.
Other NFL athletes who have admitted they were gay were Kwame Harris and Esera Tuaolo but both came out after their retirement. Jason Collins (National Basketball Association) and Robbie Rogers (Major League Soccer) are some of the gay players who have come out most recently.
Twitter, as expected, exploded with the news with varied but mostly positive reactions with Sam’s revelation:
Shout out to my former Teammate Michael Sam. Though its old news to us its a Great move by a great guy. Wish u much success in the future!
— Trey Hobson™ (@TreyHob21) February 10, 2014
All SportsCenter wants to talk about is Michael Sam. I don't care if he's gay or not, show me highlights. — Elipses Corter (@MasonRic3) February 10, 2014
I give a huge amount of respect to Michael Sam, and really hope his future NFL teammates treat him like everyone else.
— Ryan Amedeo (@R_Amedeo15) February 10, 2014
ya know i commend Michael Sam for coming out before the NFL Draft even though i'm not gay i think thats pretty courageous act #respect
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