Huge, historic news from the football world. On Sunday Missouri All-American DE Michael Sam came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports. Depending on how the draft goes in April, he could be the first openly gay player in the NFL. He’s currently projected to be a mid-round pick.
In a conversation with the New York Times, he says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.
Sam’s story about playing college ball at Missouri is extremely inspiring. Via The Times:
Mr. Sam said he graduated from Missouri in December, the only member of his family to attend college. He grew up in Hitchcock, Tex., near the Gulf Coast about 40 miles southeast of Houston, the seventh of eight children of JoAnn and Michael Sam. It was a difficult childhood; three of his siblings have died, and two brothers are in prison, Mr. Sam said. He was raised mostly by his mother, and he spent some years with another family who took him in. All have been supportive of his coming out, Mr. Sam said.
He also spoke to ESPN, deciding to come out publicly now because he sensed rumors about his sexuality were circulating:
“I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it. I just want to own my truth.”
Obviously a lot of people will be watching this story very closely over the next few months. Congrats, Michael! Here’s to kicking homophobia in sports in the ass.
Photo via Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports