On ESPN's "Outside the Lines"
Sunday Missouri All-American defensive lineman and Associated Press' SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, said that he is gay. Sam is eligible for the NFL draft in May where he could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL. Per ESPN...
Sam stated publicly what his teammates and coaches at Mizzou have known since August: "I am an openly, proud gay man."
"I understand how big this is," he said. "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."
"I didn't realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me," he said. "I want to own my truth. ... No one else should tell my story but me."
"Coaches just wanted to know a little about ourselves, our majors, where we're from, and something that no one knows about you," Sam said. "And I used that opportunity just to tell them that I was gay. And their reaction was like, 'Michael Sam finally told us.' "
Asked what that moment felt like, Sam said, "I was kind of scared, even though they already knew. Just to see their reaction was awesome. They supported me from Day One. I couldn't have better teammates. ... I'm telling you what: I wouldn't have the strength to do this today if I didn't know how much support they'd given me this past semester."
Mizzouri tweeted their support...
We support Tigers of all stripes at Mizzou. Proud of you @MikeSamFootball! #OneMizzou http://ow.ly/trK67
8:13 PM - 9 Feb 2014