As for Sam he said “I came to tell the world that I’m an openly, proud gay man.” He further went on to say “two weeks ago at the Senior Bowl I didn’t realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me or tell a story. I just wanted to control the situation and tell my story.” He advised his teammates in August “I came out to my teammates, and they took it great. They rallied around me, they supported me, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates.”
In 2013 after three relatively unproductive seasons with the Tigers he made a name for himself in 2013 when Sam recorded 48 tackles with 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, forced two fumbles, two passes defended and returned a fumble for a touchdown. According to draft projection his scheduled to go anywhere between the third and fifth rounds. He also got named as a unanimous All-American and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
The NFL released its support in a statement saying “we admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”
There are still some that don’t believe the NFL is ready for an openly gay player a player personnel assistant told Sports Illustrated “I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”
Sam has received support from Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree and Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback and former Tiger Chase Daniel.
With the announcement hopefully in the future coming out as gay will not become a big deal until then Sam gets the opportunity to become a trail blazer for not only the NFL, for the three other major sports in the United States.