Michael Sam says some gay NFL players lack courage to come out like him
theGRIO REPORT - In an interview Thursday with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sam maintained that there other gay players in the NFL currently...
Last year, Michael Sam made history as the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL.
His NFL career has since been short-lived. Before the season opened, he was cut from the team that drafted him, the St. Louis Rams, and then had a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad before being released in October.
In an interview Thursday with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sam maintained that there other gay players in the NFL currently. It’s a statement he’s made before, notably to talk show host Oprah Winfrey back in December.
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said. “I’m just saying there is a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.
Sam, whose recent appearance on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars made some critics question his “focus” on football, said he may have been naïve when he decided to come out as gay last year.
“Maybe I thought it was 2014, and people will understand that there’s gay NFL players,” Sam said.”There’s gay athletes everywhere. But I was clearly wrong. It was a huge deal.”
Sam has not been picked up by an NFL team since his brief tenure with the Cowboys. He participated in the NFL’s Veteran Combine earlier this month, but reportedly didn’t perform particularly well.
“Hopefully I’m not being discriminated [against] because I’m gay,” Sam said. “I don’t believe that I’m being discriminated [against] because I’m gay. I just want to know if I’m truly not in the NFL, it’s because of talent. Let it be because of my talents. But you’ve got to prove that I can’t play this game. If you look at the film, clearly I can. So, I’ll leave it at that.”