Mizzouri Tigers DE Michael Sam Says He’s Gay, Set to be First Openly Gay Player in NFL … “Not That There is Anything Wrong With That”
In an interview with ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines,’ Missouri Tiger’s DE Michael Sam says, “I am an openly, proud gay man.”
Michael Sam was the 2013 AP SEC defensive player of the year and is expected to be drafted in the early to mid rounds of the upcoming NFL draft. But believe it or not, for those in the know and around football, especially teams getting background and vetting college players for the NFL draft, this is hardly a revelation. So for the most part this was not a surprise. NFL teams vet players more than the media vets potential presidential candidates, which is a shame and a story for another day. With the story out there Michael Sam came out and professed his sexuality as he said, “I want to own my truth. … No one else should tell my story but me.”
Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from Missouri and the Associated Press’ SEC Defensive Player of the Year, said that he is gay in an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday.
Sam stated publicly what his teammates and coaches at Mizzou have known since August: “I am an openly, proud gay man.”
Sam is eligible for the NFL draft in May. Assuming that he is drafted, Sam could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL.
“I understand how big this is,” he said. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
The NFL released a statement Sunday night supporting Michael Sam. (VIDEO)
“We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage,” NFL senior vice president of communications Greg Aiello said in the statement. “Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”
ABC News: Michael Sam should be commended.
What happens next is what’s most interesting here. Michael Sam’s decision to come out as gay in advance of his arrival in the NFL is courageous and historic and should be celebrated as such. The best way to celebrate it would be to leave him alone and let him play football.
But that’s not going to happen, at least not right away. This is going to be the story of the week and the story of next week’s scouting combine and one of the big stories of the draft and of the early days of training camp for whichever team picks Sam. The manner in which this story is received and covered by the outside world will say a lot about where we are as a society in 2014. We’ve been covering and anticipating this story for a while without a name or a date. Now that we have both, let’s all hope we’re as well prepared to handle it as he is.
Hmm, commended … The American Thinker has another point of view that has validity as well … “Tolerance is a good thing. I’m all for it. But being tolerant doesn’t mean you have to shut your mouth when people make fools of themselves.” I thought the mantra from the Bill Clinton – Monica affair was that it was a personal matter and none of our business?
I will never understand this narcissistic impulse among many gays to flaunt their sexual preference. This is a personal and private matter that most of the rest of us aren’t interested in knowing.
On a person note so Michael Sam is gay, not that there is anything wrong with that (VIDEO). From personal experience a sports locker room can be an interesting place when it comes to comments. Let’s just hope that from this point going forward he is just known as a football player; however, the media is going to make a circus out of the fact that he is the first openly gay football player. The truth is that it is commendable that he came out; however, another truth is that many teams may think that this will be a distraction in the locker room and many will not want to deal with the circus of a MSM focusing on a players sexuality, rather than the team. This could cause his draft stock to drop and of course if he does go lower than what was originally projected, that will become a media story and cries of discrimination.
The news that former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is gay holds significant social and cultural ramifications. But from a purely football perspective, his decision to come out prior to May’s NFL draft will make his path to the league daunting, eight NFL executives and coaches told SI.com.
In blunt terms, they project a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock, a publicity circus and an NFL locker room culture not prepared to deal with an openly gay player. Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was projected as a mid- to late-round draft pick prior to his announcement.
While none of the executives overtly condemned Sam’s decision, their opinions illuminated an NFL culture in which an openly gay player — from the draft room to the locker room — faces long odds and a lonely path.