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<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-size: 14pt">Missouri's Michael Sam says he's gay in advance of 2014 NFL Draft</span></span>

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
February 9, 2014

Former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, is set to enter the 2014 NFL Draft under unique circumstances. Sam will enter the NFL as the league's first openly gay player.

Sam was interviewed Sunday by the New York Times and ESPN. He told the media entities he came out of the closet and told his teammates "I'm gay" earlier during the 2013 season.

"I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out," Sam said Sunday.

This was the first time Sam has spoken publicly about his sexual orientation, and he's about to put the NFL on a different axis.

Sam does not project as a first-round pick in our 2014 NFL Mock Drafts, but he's the ninth-ranked defensive end and the 90th-ranked player overall on NFLDraftScout.com's big board.

In other words, he will be drafted by someone and he will become the first openly gay player in the NFL, barring any other revelations between now and the time he's drafted and signs his contract.

Sam told the Times he believed that rumors about his sexual orientation were circulating and decided to get ahead of the press.

"I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it," Sam said. "I just want to own my truth."

Sam's world is about to get pretty crowded. This is the kind of issue that transcends the sport itself; it's a "CNN issue" which will mean extended coverage by the national media as they watch to see how he's accepted in the world of the NFL.

"I'm not naïve," Sam said. "I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is. But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the NFL."

All he can do, really, is focus on getting ready for the combine. It's going to be a zoo there but the NFL has expressed support for the former Missouri player.

"We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."

Sam, for his part is taking almost a perfect approach to the situation, remaining "comfortable" in his own skin.

"I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay," he said. "I'm comfortable in my skin." Late Sunday Sam took to Twitter to thank people for their positive reactions
 

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Why do people feel the need to announce their sexual preference? So they can scream discrimination?
 

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Apparently, all of his teammates already knew.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I give the guy credit for opening up to a press interview. I guess he was worried after last year’s Manti Te'o drama he knew it was coming out sooner or later and he is just being pro-active to get his side of the story out first.
The guy can play ball and that is all I care to know about him.
 

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Well, whatever team's uniform he ends up wearing I'm sure he'll look FABULOUS!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well he’s done for now, Michelle Obama tweeted him supporting his courage on and off the field.
 

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I just hope QB's who successfully scramble away from him don't get accused of being homophobes.
 

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So much material, so much potential for a time out!


Could you imagine how much fun we could have if he caught passes on offense.
 

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He may be a good player, but he will have a ways to go to catch these guys.

<span style="font-style: italic">Official in NFL since 1982

*Deacon Jones had 26 sacks in 14 games in the 1967 season, and 24 sacks in 14 games in the 1968 season. However, as sacks were not officially recorded by the NFL at that point, Michael Strahan is attributed the single season record.

**Al "Bubba" Baker had 23 sacks in his rookie 1978 season. However, as sacks were not officially recorded by the NFL at that point, Jevon Kearse is attributed the single season rookie record.

***L.C. Greenwood had 4 sacks in Super Bowl X. [12] However, as sacks were not officially recorded by the NFL at that point, Reggie White and Darnell Dockett are attributed the Super Bowl record "Most sacks, single game" (3).</span>
 

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bird_dog_pa said:
Why do people feel the need to announce their sexual preference? So they can scream discrimination?
Exactly.

Why don't we hear about athletes "coming out" and saying that they are:

Pro second amendment?

Christian?

Virgin?

Nothing more than attempts to be able to later claim discrimination any time somebody says something negative about him...
 
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