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Michael Sam Admits Thinking He Shouldn't Have Come Out During NFL Draft

Categories: LGBT, Sports

footballmichaelsam.png
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Michael Sam in his Mizzou days.
As the 2014 NFL draft went into its third and final day, Michael Sam says he was afraid his decision to come out publicly would mean he'd never hear his name called.

The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year admits he feared his sexuality would stop him from achieving his dream of playing professional football during an interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts.

"I was kind of second-guessing myself, whether, you know, maybe football turned its back on me," Sam says. "I was like, 'Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did.'"

"You mean coming out publicly?" Roberts asks.

"Exactly," Sam says.

See also: Video: Michael Sam Stuns ESPYs Crowd With Emotional Award Speech

Sam was probably right to think some teams would reject signing the first out gay man in football, though he consistently kept his "It's their loss" attitude during the draft. This week, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam.

"I wouldn't have taken him," Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but because I wouldn't want to deal with all of it. It's not going to be totally smooth...things will happen."

After two days, seven rounds and 248 drafts, the St. Louis Rams chose Sam to join its 2014 rookie class.

"I had so many emotions going in my head," Sam says, "and then I felt a touch over my shoulder and it was Vito" Cammisano, his boyfriend. That's when the two shared an excited kiss that rocked the sports world.

See also: "Totally Disgusting:" 19 FCC Complaints About Michael Sam Kissing His Boyfriend on ESPN

"I was like, 'I don't care what happens,'" Sam says. "I know I did the right thing in my heart, and whatever happens, happens. I'm just going to move forward."

With the draft behind him, Sam says he's focused on training camp and has already lost twelve pounds.

"I'm just so excited to finally get the opportunity to do what I love," he tells Roberts. "Not a lot of people can say that."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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62 comments
James Madison
James Madison

Totally silly. Do straight players come out as being straight? What difference does it make? Why the need to tell the world your sexuality? Publicity stunt - nothing else. Wanted to get his name out there and cause a buzz. Pathetic actually.

Kenneth Lane
Kenneth Lane

Hope he does well in St. Louis--don't follow sports but may watch the Rams now---

Chris Barlow
Chris Barlow

Translation of what Dungy said: Jeff Fisher is a better man than I.

Ryan Masters
Ryan Masters

Drew Somervell, they won't get equality until they act like equals. Same for blacks and anyone else who doesn't feel equal. It wasn't against NFL rules to be gay. There was no discrimination. It's clear cut. Coming out was unnecessary. He should have just showed up with his boyfriend, like another player would with their wife. Act like a normal person. Just be gay. Be you. Don't dance around crying, screaming for attention.

Jodi Fox
Jodi Fox

Do they refer to the other players as "straight"? Give it a rest, all this news is older than dirt. So sick and tired of hearing about it. Shut up and play football, that's what he was drafted for.

Reinventing Carrie
Reinventing Carrie

IT SHOULD NOT MATTER!! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL. HE HAS THE RIGHT TO LOVE WHOM EVER HE WANTS. HIS PERSONAL LIFE SHOULD BE HIS. AND HE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO HIDE WHO HE IS AND HONESTLY IF HE HADNT RIPPED THE BAND-AID OFF HE WOULD HAVE TO LIVE WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOP TO FALL. WHY LIVE IN FEAR OF PEOPLE FINDING OUT JUST BEAT THE TO THE PUNCH.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

It was a great time to "come out". No regrets. Move forward.

Donald Paul Bugge Jr.
Donald Paul Bugge Jr.

The point is that the media should do the ENTIRE quote of Dungy's opinion no matter how others may feel. I think Sam is a great college player. It remains to be seen if that success will happen at the professional level. I wish Sam luck in his career. I hope the distractions from the media putting the focus on him being the 1st Gay Professional Football, don't derail his team's success this season or Sam's success.

willywawa
willywawa

There are alot of really stupid people commenting on this. First off, all of this BS is being drummed up by the media. The Tony Dungy interview took place 4 months ago and his comments were based off of his past drafting philosophy. 2nd Michael Sam was Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC aka he has NFL talent. 3rd He came out when he did because there were alot of rumblings about him being gay and it was essentially going to come out either way and he wanted to do come out on his terms. 4th All of you fucking idiots who are mad that "no straight players came out as straight" or are mad that hes being awarded for "being gay" need to realize that he is receiving this media attention bc he wasn't afraid to be himself in the sports world...where no other player has EVER felt comfortable enough with the culture of sports or you macho assholes (bigots) who have no problem berating a person due to race, religion, sexuality etc. And if you want to tell me its a sin and quote the bible...Go trade your daughters for goats and stone them for not being virgins you self righteous idiots.

willywawa
willywawa

There are alot of really stupid people commenting on this. First off, all of this BS is being drummed up by the media. The Tony Dungy interview took place 4 months ago and his comments were based off of his past drafting philosophy. 2nd Michael Sam was Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC aka he has NFL talent. 3rd He came out when he did because there were alot of rumblings about him being gay and it was essentially going to come out either way and he wanted to do come out on his terms. 4th All of you fucking idiots who are mad that "no straight players came out as straight" or are mad that hes being awarded for "being gay" need to realize that he is receiving this media attention bc he wasn't afraid to be himself in the sports world...where no other player has EVER felt comfortable enough with the culture of sports or you macho assholes (bigots) who have no problem berating a person due to race, religion, sexuality etc. And if you want to tell me its a sin and quote the bible...Go trade your daughters for goats and stone them for not being virgins you self righteous idiots. 

Lynn Croxton
Lynn Croxton

Actually, scrap that analogy. He didn't do anything wrong, and he didn't make a mess. It's just that some people view it that way.

Lynn Croxton
Lynn Croxton

Yes, and I "admit" thinking I shouldn't have lifted the mixer out of the bowl with the motor still running, but now there's batter all over the kitchen and people just have to deal with it.

Erich Lenway
Erich Lenway

Does this newspaper ever talk about something besides gay people?? Who cares!!!

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

Ryan Masters, straight players don't have to come out because discrimination against straights is not a thing. The more high profile gays there are in traditionally straight situations, the better chance the lgbt community has of getting the same rights and equal treatment that we straights have always enjoyed.

Ryan Masters
Ryan Masters

He shouldn't have came out. No straight players come out as straight. He just wants attention and its pathetic.

David B Fowler
David B Fowler

Doesnt matter what you do in private. We dont care , can you play football in NFL? . They gay card wont get you on the team.

Lane Mitchell
Lane Mitchell

Players have been dismissed due to they're level of distraction. Ocho cinco, terrel Owens. But these guys were good. Micheal Sam is a 7th rounder. That comment was made when he was planning on bringing a reality show from the OPERA network to follow him around for the whole season. Jeff fisher politely asked himself that he reconsider. U are downplaying the "distraction" part and hoping that u can find someone to point a finger at cause u like to talk about this stupid story. Its NOT AS INTERESTING AS U THINK.

Carly Pownall
Carly Pownall

Whoa whoa. I'm not sure what comment you are getting your panties in a bunch over. But in the end, his comments are hypocritical at best. Not wanting a player bc of the "distractions"? Please...he is a Michael Vic supporter, and no problems with him...Tebow too. They came with PLENTY of distractions. You can mistreat animals, but that's cool? Serve jail time, kill people, beat your wife, etc...but being gay and causing distractions? Come on.

Scott Earnest
Scott Earnest

The only reason he "came out" is because he knows that he is a mediocre football player!

Lane Mitchell
Lane Mitchell

Carly pownall ask tony dungee. If u really want to know then go dig up tonys comments. Fucking witch hunt to get u to read. This was taken out of context for the sake of dragging this stupid story along. When I heard it I was like "really, are u serious? Still?"

Lucas Adams
Lucas Adams

The only reason he got signed so fast was the attention he called on himself. Dude is cashing in big time.

Tatum Oestreicher
Tatum Oestreicher

I dont understand why he found it necessary to announce his private sex life! He doesn't want it to be a distraction. ..then don't hold a press conference and tell the world...he wants to be equal with everyone then do what people do...keep your sex life PRIVATE...HE BROUGHT THIS ON HIMSELF...

Juan H Ramos
Juan H Ramos

Just because Dungy is religious means nothing. I'm sure there are gay individuals who are very religious. This whole conversation is pointless and due to the lack of journalistic integrity at the RT.

Carly Pownall
Carly Pownall

So he doesn't want the distraction of a gay player...therefore, he did say he wouldn't choose him bc of his sexuality.

Alex Francis
Alex Francis

Can we be done with this yet? He is gay, who cares.

Carly Pownall
Carly Pownall

I think I saw where he said that he runs his team like god would want him to...or something of that nature...

Larry Cox
Larry Cox

Gay or not shouldn't be the issue. It's the media making this an issue. he was a 7 th round pick which means he was passed on a lot of times by the other teams like 190 times. Tony is a class act and has beliefs as well as SAMs does. Respect each other belief doesn't mean you have to agree with them.

Lane Mitchell
Lane Mitchell

HEY RIVER FRONT TIMES. TELL UR PEEPS THAT TONY DUNGEES WORDS WERE TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT. HE DOESNT CARE THAT HES GAY. HE CARES ABOUT THE DISTRACTION. U SOUND WORSE THAN FOX OR MSNBC. AND U LOVE IT!

Carly Pownall
Carly Pownall

It's a good thing the dodgers didn't mind the distraction when they drafted Jackie Robinson. Sports can bring out the best and worst in people. The right people will shine

Larry Cox
Larry Cox

Not just the other 27 teams but 7 times. He got passed up. So he got passed on roughly 190 times.

Juan H Ramos
Juan H Ramos

That's why I'm a fan of the Chiefs. Screw the Lambs

Juan H Ramos
Juan H Ramos

There is absolutely wrong with a team not wanting Sam. He's undersized, not particularly fast, but has heart. That only gets you so far. I wish the kid all the luck in the world but I wouldn't have him on my team if there were going to be hundreds of reporters asking questions about gay this or that. They are there to do a job, play football, not talk about sexualtity issues.

Jeffrey Scott
Jeffrey Scott

Wow! With these never ending so called "interviews" I'm surprised he has time to play..

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

I am still amazed that others can claim to know the motivations of others. Especially when it is so clear that they are dead wrong (and just guessing).

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

Crappy Mizzou football player? Dude was SEC Defensive Player of the year.

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

Gee, you wouldn't be intentionally rooting against the guy cause he's gay or anything.

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

Yes. Yes, he did. On the air. And he appeared drunk while he said it.

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

It had nothing to do with making money and saying other wise is what is ignorant. If you read his story instead of having some cynical homophobic guess you might have a clue as to what you're talking about, Josh.

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

LOL at someone calling someone ignorant when they can't even spell the word...

Donald Paul Bugge Jr.
Donald Paul Bugge Jr.

Still a circus. He got paid for interviews. He had his reasons for coming out. I'm suprised that his entire team kept it a secret for as long as they did. I still wouldn't draft him at all. It's all based on the distraction issue. If he went undrafted free agent then I'd let him try out for the team. Less of a distraction for others.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

riot, kill people, start hate groups against straights, NOT...

Juan H Ramos
Juan H Ramos

Dungy is not ignorant and not hating. Read the story people!! He is simply stating that he would not have taken Sam because of the media storm and distraction. That's it. Tony is a good man. Guess what 27 other teams agreed with Tony cause the kid damn near didn't get taken in the draft. Again, Tony never said anything against Sam's sexualtity

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

josh, you are the one with a total lack of understanding, if you were Gay & understand what it's like because of people like you....

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