Michael Sam, a defensive end for the University of Missouri, may become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
The SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year announced that he is gay just before the NFL combine is scheduled to begin. He told his teammates last August.
“I am an openly proud gay man,” Sam, 24, was quoted as saying in reports posted Sunday by ESPN and the New York Times. Sam, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound All-American, made his announcement two weeks before the annual NFL scouting combine, and early reaction Sunday evening suggested his decision was meant in part to answer questions he’ll face anyway in Indianapolis. “I am proud to tell my story to the world!” was among several messages posted on Sam’s Twitter account late Sunday.
During his interviews, Sam said his teammates knew he was gay throughout the 2013 season, a critical period for the team as it was selected to finish sixth in the SEC East. Instead the Tigers won the division and finished 12-2. They lost the national runner-up Auburn in the SEC championship game and finished the season with a win against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.
Before his announcement, Sam was projected to be a third round pick.
Very brave Sam.
Will this announcement hurt Sam’s draft status?
How will NFL players respond?
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