Monday, February 10, 2014

Michael Sam told Missouri teammates that he was gay before the start of last season.

Michael Sam. Image via

Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced that he is gay during an interview for ESPN's Outside the Lines on Sunday. He could possibly become the first openly gay athlete in NFL history.

Sam said in the interview that he had revealed his sexual orientation to his fellow Missouri players before the start of last season.

"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."
Sam said he told his teammates not to keep his sexual orientation a secret.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel showed his support for Sam in a statement. 

"We're really happy for Michael that he's made the decision to announce this, and we're proud of him and how he represents Mizzou," Pinkel said. "Michael is a great example of just how important it is to be respectful of others, he's taught a lot of people here first-hand that it doesn't matter what your background is, or your personal orientation, we're all on the same team and we all support each other."

(via ESPN)

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