N.F.L. Prospect Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay – NYTimes.com

Michael Sam, a defensive lineman who played college football for the University of Missouri, came out as gay yesterday.

As a senior (6"2’/188 cm; 260 lbs/117 kg) Sam had a stellar season as Missouri finished 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. He was named first-team all-American, Associated Press defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, widely considered the top league in college football. Teammates, to whom he came out prior the season, voted him Missouri’s MVP. Based on his performance, Michael Sam should have a good chance to be drafted to the NFL, a process that begins with the NFL Scouting Combine in two weeks. 

He came out to the greater public after numerous scouts from pro teams asked his agent about Sam’s relationships and sexuality while Sam played in the annual Senior Bowl. He wanted to come out on his own terms. 

There has not been a publicly gay player in the NFL to date; a few pro players have come out after their career was over. I hope a pro team takes the step to draft the first gay pro American football player. (I’m looking at you, teams from cities like New York, Seattle, San Fran..) His performance and relationship with his team in Mizzou shows that a team can be very successful, ‘even if’ the locker room includes a gay man. That a gay player would change the locker room atmosphere to the team’s detriment is a common argument against gay American football players. The team’s initial response to his private coming out gives me hope that gay players in this sport are more welcome than outsiders might expect/fear

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 […] began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. […] “I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,”

I’m looking forward to watching this impressive man play in the NFL.

His website features a few highlight videos, but beware, they autoplay.

N.F.L. Prospect Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay – NYTimes.com

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