Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.
In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.
Sam says: “I am an openly, proud gay man.”
The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick.
He says: “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
In the New York Times interview, Sam explained how he felt after he opened up to his teammates:
“Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was,” Mr. 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.”