Michael Sam

February 10, 2014
The Story

So we’ve all heard by now that N.F.L prospect Michael Sam came out publicly that he’s gay. If you haven’t, here’s the story:
Coaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.
As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.
“I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,” Mr. Sam said Sunday in an interview with The New York Times, the first time he had spoken publicly about his sexual orientation.
Mr. Sam, a senior who was listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 260 pounds, had a stellar season as Missouri finished 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. He was a first-team all-American and was named the Associated Press defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, widely considered the top league in college football. Teammates voted him Missouri’s most valuable player.

– John Branch, NY Times. Read more

P.W. Opinion

1. I think NFL players have been bracing themselves for this moment. I commend him for being brave in the beginning of his journey. He is not the first gay player (just the first to openly say so) and he won’t be the last!
2. If he does make it on a team. I hope that Sam does not take the “rookie hazing” personally or that veterans do not use the “rookie hazing” to bully him because he’s gay.
3. With the mediocre performance of majority of most NFL players this past season. Who cares about a players sexuality? We need great players. We need strong players. We need Michael Sam. 
Many players have thus far taken to Twitter to show support. Read here
What do you think?


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