Michael Sam became the first open NFL player having coming out earlier this year before the draft. There was a bunch of coverage regarding potential reactions from teams, NFL execs and players. Some noted that though Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, he would be a bit of a tweener if he actually made it to the league.
Sam was drafted in the seventh round to the St. Louis Rams and cut before the regular season. He then was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys, and signed to the practice squad. He was cut after seven weeks. In a recent interview with GQ Sam has revealed that he wishes he wouldn’t have come out the way that he did, as he feels it ultimately has worked against him on the gridiron.
‘I would have done the same thing I did at Mizzou — which was to tell my team and my coaches and leave it at that. But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn’t have the year I did, nobody would have cared. But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason.’
Sam says playing while gay wasn’t the most challenging hardship he’s had to overcome — he’s claimed his brothers abused him as a child and his father abandoned the family when he was young. (His dad denied it.)
On his time with the Cowboys:
‘In St. Louis, they welcomed me, but I felt they were just putting smiles on their faces. It was because they didn’t know my future. It was almost like the situation with a stray dog — you don’t want to get too close. In Dallas, they were more welcoming.’