NFL Draft Prospect Comes Out of The Closet. [Details]
Micheal Sam, defensive lineman for the Missouri Tigers and the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year announced that he was gay on an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines that aired today.
Sam told OTL that he aleady told his teammates and Coaches in August saying the he is a “openly and proud gay man.” and that his team supported him.
In fact according to ESPN.com most of his teammates already had a hunch about the star players Sexual Orientation.
“Coaches just wanted to know a little about ourselves, our majors, where we’re from, and something that no one knows about you,” Sam said. “And I used that opportunity just to tell them that I was gay. And their reaction was like, ‘Michael Sam finally told us.’ “
This could possibly be a huge moment for both Sam and the NFL because if Sam gets drafted he will be the first openly gay man to ever play in 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.”
Sam’s strength and courage to come out before his NFL career has even begun comes from his up bringing and the hard times he had to endure.
“I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her. My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him … my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail.
“Telling the world I’m gay is nothing compared to that.”
The NFL released a statement fully supporting Smith and his courageous decision.
“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.”
Sam understands that the football world may give him negative feedback but he says that he expects it and will not let it distract him from his goals.
Sam lead the SEC last year in sacks and tackles for loss with 11.5 and 19 respectively. According to ESPN.com Sam is projected to be drafted in the mid rounds, some even say he could get picked up as high as the 3rd round.
Sam told ESPN he wants to go to the team that knows and accepts him for him