Michael Sam Could Become NFL's First Openly Gay Player (VIDEO)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Michael Sam, the former defensive lineman for the University of Missouri's Mizzou Tigers, revealed he is gay in a video posted on New York Times Sunday, The announcement has come just a few days before the National Football League's, NFL, upcoming draft. If drafted into the League, Sam could become the NFL's first openly gay player.
"I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player and I'm gay," Sam said in the video. "I just want to own my truth before anyone breaks a story about me." Sam, who graduated from Missouri in December, said that his friends were supportive of him when he first disclosed his gender status last August.
Revealing his homosexuality, Sam felt a huge load has lifted off his chest. Initially, the NFL prospect was nervous about divulging it.
The star football player's announcement was welcomed by gay rights organizations.
Sam had "rewritten the script for countless young athletes. With acceptance of (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people rising across our coasts - in our schools, churches, and workplaces - it's clear that America is ready for an openly gay football star," Sarah Kate Ellis, the president of GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), said in a statement.
Brian Ellner, a gay-rights activist and board member of the group Athlete Ally, hopes the NFL teams and the league accepts the change that is slowly gripping the nation.
"How Michael Sam is received on the professional level will go a long way in defining the NFL's legacy," Ellner said Reuters reports.
Besides the media advocacy organisations, Sam also received positive reactions from NFL players, including Chase Danie, NFL player and former Missouri quarterback.
Had multiple convos with @MikeSamFootball this year, amazed at his honesty & courage! Once a tiger, ALWAYS a Tiger!
— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) February 10, 2014
Sam, considered as the 12th-best outside pass rusher in the draft by ESPN Scouts Inc., is projected to be drafted as high as the third round. He hopes the declaration doesn't have any negative effects on his football career. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year urged the NFL and the teams to look beyond the issue of his sexual orientation and to just consider him as an athlete, abc reports.