The SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam says he’s gay, and he may become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
“I’m Michael Sam. I’m a football player and I’m gay,” he told The New York Times. “Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was,” Sam said. “I knew that I was gay. And I knew that I was Michael Sam, who’s a Mizzou football player who happens to be gay. I was so proud of myself and I just didn’t care who knew. If someone on the street would have asked me, ‘Hey, Mike, I heard you were gay; is that true?’ I would have said yes.”
According to the New York Times, Sam came out to his team last summer during a preseason team-building exercise at practice in August. Sam said he wanted to make his truth known to the fans and the front office of the team that drafts him.
Sam led the SEC in sacks with 11.5 and 19 tackles for loss. We’ll see how the NFL teams react to this news, as Sam is expected to be an upper-round pick in this year’s draft.