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Missouri All-American DE Michael Sam: “I’m Gay”

Derek Carr, Michael Sam AP

Former Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam revealed to the New York Times on Sunday that he is a homosexual. The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year could become the first openly-gay player in the NFL after he is selected in this spring’s draft.

According to the Times, Sam told his teammates of his sexual orientation in preseason camp last summer.

Coaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.

As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.

“I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,” Mr. Sam said Sunday in an interview with The New York Times, the first time he spoke publicly about his sexual orientation.

Sam had 48 tackles with 19 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks as he helped Missouri to a 12-2 record this past season. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder is projected to go in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.

Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel was strongly supportive of Sam in a statement released on Sunday.

“We’re really happy for Michael that he’s made the decision to announce this, and we’re proud of him and how he represents Mizzou,” Pinkel said. “We look forward to following his career, and the success he’s going to have.”

“We expect the leadership at NFL teams around the country, and the league itself, to wholeheartedly embrace the change that is not only sweeping our nation in the form of law, but also defining our playing fields and culture. How Michael Sam is received on the professional level will go a long way in defining the NFL’s legacy,” said Brian Ellner, a leading LGBT advocate, via a release from Athlete Ally.

Sam appeared on ESPN later on Sunday to talk about his announcement. There will no doubt be more discussion on the matter in the days to come.

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50 Responses to “Missouri All-American DE Michael Sam: “I’m Gay””
  1. pike573 says: Feb 9, 2014 8:26 PM

    This is awesome

  2. ebrownwareagle says: Feb 9, 2014 8:27 PM

    Woooow! If like to see how this play out. Very interesting.

  3. timb12 says: Feb 9, 2014 8:38 PM

    How messed up would it be for someone in the NFL to say they’re gay just to steal this guys thunder?

    In all fairness, I don’t care too much about this. Espn has been giving me the updates on my phone. I get it matters in the scheme of things, but if equality is to be promoted then this should be a non issue. Everyone else’s sexual orientation doesn’t matter, his shouldn’t either.

  4. Matt B says: Feb 9, 2014 8:43 PM

    Nice to see the fools have risen up. Does one know how difficult his life was or has been? Players his age simply don’t care. It’s a sport which is his job. If you think he’ll do,something to jeopardize that, you’re a fool.

  5. kcrobert10 says: Feb 9, 2014 8:44 PM

    I don’t really care about his sexual preference. He was a great player for us. As for his prospects at the next level I had him as a 2nd or 3rd rder. With this though I wonder how many gm’s would steer clear of drafting him and he may fall a lot.

  6. stairwayto7 says: Feb 9, 2014 8:49 PM

    Headline should read: SEC PLAYER ANNOUNCES HE IS GAY!

  7. florida727 says: Feb 9, 2014 9:00 PM

    I know people are thumbs-downing the comments about him losing a lot of money and his draft status falling, but political correctness aside, face it, it’s true. I’d love to see where he was projected in the draft before this announcement v. where he actually gets taken. Like it or not, PC or not, players don’t want that in their locker room. It’s a ‘distraction’. Assuming he does get drafted, his teammates will all say the right thing, but the truth is he’ll divide a locker room.

  8. seahawksbmx says: Feb 9, 2014 9:05 PM

    Takes some stones to come out, especially 2 months before the draft. Wish him well; this will likely become a huge story as the draft approaches and someday this kid will be looked at as a pioneer.

  9. dmvtransplant says: Feb 9, 2014 9:19 PM

    Does this mean no one has to talk about Chris Kluwe anymore?

  10. kombayn says: Feb 9, 2014 9:26 PM

    Good for him, and helping move the needle where everyone in the general public won’t care if he’s a gay man playing in the NFL. It’s sad it still needs to be put out like this because bigots out there trash a lifestyle they know nothing about.

  11. rcali says: Feb 9, 2014 9:29 PM

    He’s going to love the game attire in October!

  12. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Feb 9, 2014 9:53 PM

    Hey now. Sam is from Texas. Missouri actually has some very good looking women. Then again, I’m pretty sure everywhere has good looking women.

  13. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Feb 9, 2014 9:55 PM

    The people trashing him are either 14 or very insecure with themselves.

  14. classyjacklambert says: Feb 9, 2014 10:05 PM

    Good for him. I’m straight and couldn’t carry this guy’s jock on the field if I dedicated my whole life to playing. If a GM passes on him due to his sexual orientation, then it’s that teams loss. He was a beast this year and could be an impact player in a few years in the NFL.

  15. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Feb 9, 2014 10:19 PM

    kitnamania13 says:
    Feb 9, 2014 9:57 PM
    OK. The media gets their wish. What are they going to push down everybody’s throats next?

    ….the Redskins name change

  16. thisisme2828 says: Feb 9, 2014 10:47 PM

    This is awesome. I am so glad I get to see this day at such a young age. Everything the south stands for is blowing up in there faces. Good for this kid. It takes so much guts to stand up for what you believe in and say it out loud. I turkey hope mod players come out and support this kid, gay or straight.

  17. thisisme2828 says: Feb 9, 2014 10:51 PM

    Truly hope more players come out and support this kid*
    Stupid auto correct…

  18. 1historian says: Feb 9, 2014 10:55 PM

    FYI – I am a Patriots’ fan, I am a practicing Catholic, and I am a Republican.

    Who gives a s..t?

  19. bralinshan says: Feb 9, 2014 11:43 PM

    Bottom line: Every media outlet from Good Morning America to Better Homes & Gardens will be covering this story in camp nonstop. That’s what’s known as a colossal distraction from the task at hand.
    They’ll be asking questions constantly of his treatment on the field, off the field, in the locker room, etc…They’ll be asking players and coaches 24/7…
    When the media grows up, and it likely won’t grow up soon, that will be when teams risk a higher pick on a gay player.
    The major and constant distraction is not fair to the team, coaches, players, or to Michael Sam. The onslaught of media will make any team think really hard before they draft this kid.

  20. be4bama says: Feb 9, 2014 11:54 PM

    Really, who cares? Bet he just got an invitation to the White House with Barry and Michelle.

  21. johnnyprc says: Feb 9, 2014 11:55 PM

    Can you imagine the media circus that will surround him now? NFL teams will battle that issue more than the fact he is gay….tough decision.

  22. normtide says: Feb 9, 2014 11:55 PM

    I could care less what this kid does in his free time. I don’t support that lifestyle, therefore I don’t live that way. I don’t care to see a display of it, therefore I don’t look at it. But that’s ones personal choice and I can’t see any reason to hate anyone over it. I see him as a solid second round pick, a gem if he makes it to the late third. I wish nothing but the best for him.

  23. be4bama says: Feb 9, 2014 11:55 PM

    BTW, everyone associated with MIZZ knew about this for quite some time. It was a nonissue for them.

  24. jackvcr says: Feb 10, 2014 12:01 AM

    The press in this country is a joke – especially the sports press. No one gives a shite about whether this kid is gay or not. Tell us something interesting for a change.

  25. donovandancy says: Feb 10, 2014 12:25 AM

    Whoo-hoo! That means the next 3 to 4 de’s behind him are moving up come draft day!

  26. provguard says: Feb 10, 2014 1:38 AM

    I can just imagine the trash talk now…lol

  27. smackingfools says: Feb 10, 2014 1:59 AM

    If he would’ve announced that he was gay and that he’s a Christian the media would be in a pickle.

  28. rightvoted says: Feb 10, 2014 2:45 AM

    Reminds me of Ryan Leaf – touted quarterback who ALSO had serious psychological problems and ALSO placed his own interests and needs above the good of the team.

    Seems to me Ryan was a bust — and in the process busted up team cohesiveness and gave those who hired the idiot a huge black eye.

    So I wonder – who in their right mind is going to take a flyer on THIS idiot?

  29. atmason says: Feb 10, 2014 3:09 AM

    A very brave young man. Salute!

  30. moses74 says: Feb 10, 2014 4:11 AM

    All guy supporters will get a “thumbs down” from me! Lets just hope this player will repent before his life is snatched away..because then it will be too late! I am being judgmental, yes i know but I can be “righteously” judgmental.

  31. Matthew says: Feb 10, 2014 4:41 AM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    As long as he can do the job that he’s hired to do, there shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever.

  32. gborange says: Feb 10, 2014 5:50 AM

    People hated Tebow because of his faith and they have that right. Well, I have the right to disagree with this guys lifestyle and owners and teammates should have that right too. Draft this guy and you’ll be paying out a settlement the first time someone “offends” him.

  33. raiderufan says: Feb 10, 2014 7:38 AM

    moses74 says:
    Feb 10, 2014 4:10 AM
    what a shame! Gays will not inherit Kingdom of God!

    This mother ______ needs science!

    Good for Michael Sam. I think we are seriously under estimating the gay community in our assesment of how his announcement will affect his draft stock. If we delude ourselves to think that it’s even remotely possible he’s the only homosexual in the 6 major sports (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, NCAA BB & FB) we’re only lying to our selves. Others are coming, some will be shocking (for some reason) but they won’t leave him alone on some pedestal to be taken apart on his own…I just can’t see it.

    Like I said, good for him. He should be proud but I don’t think he’ll be alone for very long. First dominoe.

  34. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 10, 2014 7:59 AM

    @edbs – If gay friendliness becomes an SEC recruiting factor, Tuscaloosa’s about the get the biggest damn gay bar you’ve ever seen.

  35. eightysixisback says: Feb 10, 2014 9:16 AM

    no, according to your own religious beliefs that you are using to trash someone who is different than you, you can NOT be judgemental. dont tell us all what is going to happen to this man and what you think about him based on what the bible says because the bible also says over and over and over again that you are not supposed to do that. it says god is the only judge of man. funny how those of you who always use the bible to tell us what is wrong always seem to over look the parts about not judging others even if they arent living by your 2000 year old book. you dont get to pick and choose, if you are telling others how to live based on that book you are disobeying it yourself so shut up. initially this will be a media circus but it will die out. he has admitted it and there really is only so much that can be said or reported about it. the media will talk to his teammates after he gets drafted to get their reactions but unless one of them makes it a big issue it will be over shortly after he is picked. who cares anyway. he isnt the first gay person in the nfl we all know that. good for him though for having the courage to think for and be himself, too bad there always have to be so many judgemental people who cant handle people doing that.

  36. dkhhuey says: Feb 10, 2014 9:28 AM

    Sadly we live in a world where this is still an issue. It takes big time guts to come out a few months before entering the NFL. Moments like this will continue to erode the stupidity that still surrounds one’s sexual orientation!

  37. dhardy8207 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:39 AM

    Did I dream this or didn’t Ricky Williams come out that he was bisexual back when he was on his way out with the Dolphins? I know he revealed he holds a personal degree in herbology, but I could have sworn there was news that he had revealed he was bisexual as well.

    Secondly, why should this be an issue in the NFL? As long as he holds up to the duties outlined within his contract and honors the code of ethics for the team he plays for and the NFLPA why should anything in regards to his sexual orientation matter?

  38. sportsdrenched says: Feb 10, 2014 9:53 AM

    “All guy supporters will get a “thumbs down” from me! Lets just hope this player will repent before his life is snatched away..because then it will be too late! I am being judgmental, yes i know but I can be “righteously” judgmental.”


    Well, I guess I have as much “choice” about being a Guy, as people have over their sexuality.

  39. dhardy8207 says: Feb 10, 2014 9:54 AM

    eightysixisback says:

    ” it says god is the only judge of man.”


    I was raised Southern Baptist and I don’t believe that homosexuality is normal, however I m not without flaws myself so it is not my place to judge someone on a personal matter that doesn’t induce harm on another human being. I ve also worked in the medical field for over 20 years and I do believe that there is much validity to genetics playing a part in ones sexual orientation.

    The Bible even goes a step further and says “you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself “. This is where people use religion to serve their own bias. My dad taught me it is always easier to ignore your own short comings and sins when your busy pointing out everyone elses. Judging is just as damning as sinning in God’s eyes. Biggest problem with the religious, don’t pick and choose what parts you’ll follow and don’t skip over the parts that might be critical of how you live your life.

  40. sportsdrenched says: Feb 10, 2014 11:06 AM

    “you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself “.

    Jesus even went on to say that this is the greatest commandment and that all other laws hinge upon this one. Matt 25:34-40 If you’re interested.

  41. 11inthebox says: Feb 10, 2014 11:19 AM

    be4bama says:
    Really, who cares? Bet he just got an invitation to the White House with Barry and Michelle.

    You say that like its a bad thing.

    Sam could be an inspiration for all of those young kids, who because of their sexuality, are being harassed and bullied–sometimes to death.

    Is that a good thing?

    If we are indeed a Christian country–then we’ll practice the Christian tenets espoused by Jesus Christ Himself, and not those espoused by the likes of Pat Buchanan.

    That means we’ll be an open and loving society that refrains from judgment and condemnation.

  42. lakesidegator says: Feb 10, 2014 12:04 PM

    By no means are NFL fans wholly in support for so-called gay/equal rights. No more than they are fully behind Tim Tebow’s Christian message and following. These things can, and will, be factors in the decision-making about whether, or when, to draft the openly gay onto their team.
    Why? Because the feelings of the fan bases come directly into play. And I strongly suspect that most of the fans of any franchise, except maybe the 49-ers, don’t really want these kind of issues directed into their enjoyment of the game. Does political correctness have to be so damn pervasive?

  43. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 10, 2014 12:08 PM

    Did this just become

    I heard this morning that as of yesterday he was the 90th best prospect on one major website’s draft board and now he’s down to the 160 range.

    Obviously he didn’t become a worse football player overnight… I think that is just a reflection of teams not wanting the media circus that will certainly follow.

  44. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 10, 2014 12:12 PM

    And how does a guy with the name Mike Sam become a DE and not an LB….?

    And why didn’t his parents have the forethought to make his middle name William…

  45. lakesidegator says: Feb 10, 2014 12:12 PM

    Just wondering — what percentage of the time is it that a gay guy has two first names? Shame on those parents!

  46. raiderufan says: Feb 10, 2014 1:11 PM

    I’m very upset with my self that I didn’t think of Mike Will Sam…well done 808.

    And this is not a Christian country. The forefathers of our country were very clear in this fact.

    E Pluribus Unum.

  47. fearthehoody says: Feb 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    1. I don’t care!
    2. No need to go public
    3. Its “I couldn’t care less” not “I could care less”

  48. jetnotjets says: Feb 10, 2014 3:08 PM

    There is a huge difference between Judgement & Correction. Jesus also said that if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault. Too many people lose the message of Love and are too focused on being right when they do this, and it’s harmful to both sides. Yes, we will all be judged as individuals for our sins one day by God and God alone and our relationship to Him, but to improperly use one sentence out of all of Jesus’ teachings to try and silence Christians from reaching out to others is wrong. Jesus taught that we should reach out to others in compassion to help correct their way. The problem is that too many on both sides have personal agendas and lash out hatefully in order to be ‘right’, rather than reach out compassionately in ‘love’.

    I love Mr. Sam very much, and I hope he has an excellent career in the NFL along with any other professional pursuits he undertakes.

  49. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 12, 2014 3:18 PM

    lakesidegator says:
    Feb 10, 2014 12:12 PM

    Just wondering — what percentage of the time is it that a gay guy has two first names? Shame on those parents!

    Generally… if you have 2 first names, one of them is your last name….(ie Sam) You don’t often change that so would you have rather had his parents make his first name a last name?

    Miller Sam?
    Jones Sam?
    Smith Sam?

  50. lakesidegator says: Feb 13, 2014 11:53 AM

    If the family name is a typical first name, then the given name should be one that isn’t.
    It’s really just that simple, and by following that practice, parents might help ensure that their children don’t become gay. Just sayin’ — it could be a factor.

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