“I came to tell the world that I’m an openly, proud gay man,” Michael Sam told Chris Connelly on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday .
The All-American lineman, who is eligible for the NFL draft in May,sat down with Chris Connelly and shared his story. Sam came out to his Missouri team mates in August and the response was better than he expected, “they rallied around me, they supported me, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates,” Sam said.
“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.’ ”
He realizes that this a huge deal. “I understand how big this is,” he said. “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
Sam also explains how he wanted to control his own his truth. “I didn’t realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me,” he said. “I want to own my truth. … No one else should tell my story but me.”
Michael has not has an easy time in his life he explains his upbringing and tough times he had to deal with his life. “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.”
He also goes into how he first found out he was gay, “I knew from a young age that I was attracted to guys,” he said, “I didn’t know if it was a phase … I didn’t want to say, ‘Hey, I might be gay. I might be bi.’ I just didn’t know … I wanted to find who I was and make sure I knew what was comfortable. So I didn’t tell anyone growing up.”
Michael has received an overwhelming amount of support from athletes all over!
Michael Sam’s story is so inspiring! One can only hope that the support goes far beyond his fellow peers. He deserves the chance to chase his dreams just as much as anyone else. Michael is making history. Hopefully others will follow suit and not feel the need to hide in the shadows anymore. He is becoming a wonderful role model for kids who may be dealing with the same struggles. I am so happy that he is using this platform for the greater good!