Months after NBA veteran Jason Collins revealed his preference for same-sex relationships, college superstar Michael Sam has stepped forward to reveal he is openly gay.
According to reports, the Missouri All-American athlete made the announcement over the weekend.
In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August. Sam says: “I am an openly, proud gay man.” The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick. He says: “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.” (Los Angeles Times)
Sam’s announcement could ultimately have him make history if drafted in the upcoming NFL draft.
Other pro athletes who have said they are gay include Jason Collins, a veteran of 12 NBA seasons who came out last year but has not played on a team since. Robbie Rogers, a Major League Soccer midfielder with the Los Angeles Galaxy, also has said he was gay. But Sams would be the first active publicly gay NFL player. Support for Sam’s public announcement came swiftly from several quarters. (NBC News)
Non-profit organization GLAAD, known for supporting gay and lesbian relationships, has issued a statement on Michael’s remarks.
“By rewriting the script for countless young athletes, Michael has demonstrated the leadership that, along with his impressive skills on the field, makes him a natural fit for the NFL,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statment. “With acceptance of LGBT people rising across our coasts — in our schools, churches, and workplaces — it’s clear that America is ready for an openly gay football star.” (Statement)
Proud of Jason Collins’ decision to come out last year, rapper A$AP Rocky compared his announcement to R&B singer Frank Ocean revealing his bisexuality.
“That’s his business,” Rocky said in an interview. “I respect men more for coming out. People joke on Frank Ocean a lot but at least he’s not out here fronting. It’s a lot of people, a lot of motherf*ckers be out here, they be the closet motherf*ckers, you know? I don’t respect them. I respect gay men who identify it and who are out with it. I don’t have a problem with gay people at all. So it’s like, that’s his business. It don’t concern me. Number one, I barely get to watch basketball like that as it is. Number two, I don’t even know who this n*gga is that you talking about. Dead a**. He probably has ten times more money than me but I don’t know who he is. We got the Frank Ocean of the NBA now who came out and did what he had to do. Shout-outs to him.” (KYSDC)
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