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Projected Mid Rounder Announces He Is Gay

#1 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:08 PM

Everyone was waiting for the first NFL player to come out but it took a college draft prospect to start it off.

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@AdamSchefter: Missouri DE Michael Sam, a projected mid-round pick, said today he's gay. Story now on ESPN2.

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#2 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:24 PM

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Michael Sam says he's gay

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from Missouri Tigers and the Associated Press' SEC Defensive Player of the Year, said that he is gay in interviews with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and the New York Times on Sunday.

Sam stated publicly what his teammates and coaches at Mizzou have known since August: "I am an openly, proud gay man."

Sam is eligible for the NFL draft in May. Assuming that he is drafted, Sam could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL.

"I understand how big this is," he said. "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."

In 2014, "Gay Man to Enter Workforce" has the everyday-occurrence sound of a headline in The Onion. But when the NFL is involved, it's a first -- and potentially a landmark moment -- in the history of American sports.

Sam's decision to speak out now comes after his experience two weeks ago at the Senior Bowl, where, he said, many already seemed aware of his sexual orientation.

"I didn't realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me," he said. "I want to own my truth. ... No one else should tell my story but me."

He had already confided in a few close friends, Sam recalled, and had dated a fellow athlete who was not a football player -- so while coming out to his Mizzou teammates last year was a key moment, it came almost as an afterthought, during preseason training camp.

"Coaches just wanted to know a little about ourselves, our majors, where we're from, and something that no one knows about you," Sam said. "And I used that opportunity just to tell them that I was gay. And their reaction was like, 'Michael Sam finally told us.' "

Asked what that moment felt like, Sam said, "I was kind of scared, even though they already knew. Just to see their reaction was awesome. They supported me from Day One. I couldn't have better teammates. ... I'm telling you what: I wouldn't have the strength to do this today if I didn't know how much support they'd given me this past semester."

He did not ask them to keep his revelation a secret.

Raised in the small town of Hitchcock, Texas, Sam said he grew up uncertain about what his sexual orientation was.

"I knew from a young age that I was attracted to guys," he said, "I didn't know if it was a phase ... I didn't want to say, 'Hey, I might be gay. I might be bi.' I just didn't know ... I wanted to find who I was and make sure I knew what was comfortable. So I didn't tell anyone growing up."

It was an upbringing, he said, filled with adversity.

"I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her. My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him ... my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail.

"Telling the world I'm gay is nothing compared to that."

Sam had dinner on Saturday with Dave Kopay, a former NFL player who said he was gay in 1975 -- three years after his playing career ended.

Among other pro athletes who have said they are gay, Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran, came out in a Sports Illustrated article at the end of the 2012-13 regular season, but has not played for a team since. Midfielder Robbie Rogers became first openly gay male athlete to play in a U.S. professional team sports league when he entered a MLS game in May 2013.

Conner Mertens, a kicker for Willamette University, last month became the first active college football player in the U.S. to come out publicly.

Sam said that he realizes his revelation may engender a variety of reactions in the football world. "There will be negativity, negative reactions," he said. "I expect that. ... Everyone can say hurtful things and hateful things; I don't let stuff like that distract me. But there are going to be positives. The positives will outweigh the negative."

Sam led the SEC with 11.5 sacks, and 19 tackles for a loss. Most NFL draft projections see him as a likely mid-round pick, with some saying Sam could go as high as the third round, with a possible position switch to outside linebacker. He is rated as the 12th-best outside pass rusher in the draft by ESPN Scouts Inc.

"I just want to go to the team who drafts me," he said, "because that team knows about me, knows that I'm gay, and also knows that I work hard. That's the team I want to go to."

Sam said that despite some comments from current players, he doesn't anticipate difficulty gaining acceptance in an NFL locker room.

"Hopefully it will be the same like my locker room," he said. "It's a workplace. if you've ever been in a Division I or pro locker room, it's a business place. You want to act professional."

Sam rejects the appalling slanders that sometimes have been hurled at gay men.

"I mean, people will talk about the stereotype of gays being in the locker room ... to me, I think that it's a little stereotyped that gay people are predators. It's just very offensive."

Other such negative stereotypes seem too absurd for him even to consider.

"If you led the SEC with 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for losses?" he said, laughing. "If a gay person did that, I wouldn't call that person weak."

Just last week, he said, he came out to his parents, during a phone call.

"I told my mom and dad last week, and they just pretty much said, 'We knew and we love you and support you,' " he said. "I'm their baby boy. I'm the first to go to college. I'm the first to graduate college. Something like this is just another milestone.

"And I love my hometown. I think when this story breaks, I think they're just going to love me even more for who I am."

Sam understands that his life is about to change forever; he said he is happy and proud to be speaking out at last.

"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."


http://espn.go.com/e...tigers-says-gay
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#3 User is offline   HarlemHxC814 Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:43 PM

Wow. Good for him. I really feel like his stock will unnecessarily take a hit though, and that's unfortunate.
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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:46 PM

Oh wait no, I mean....I hope he doesn't get drafted by the Jets, we don't need this distraction!!!
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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:48 PM

Kerry Rhodes didn't get signed because it was let out that he was gay.
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#6 User is offline   Chaos Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:45 PM

View PostJetsfan0099, on 09 February 2014 - 08:48 PM, said:

Kerry Rhodes didn't get signed because it was let out that he was gay.


Was that ever confirmed (him being gay)?
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#7 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:56 PM

View PostChaos, on 09 February 2014 - 08:45 PM, said:

Was that ever confirmed (him being gay)?

I think it was pretty clear he is. I also think that is the reason his NFL career is over. It's interesting he came out before the draft. Makes wonder why. Unfortunately he probably cost himself a lot of money.
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#8 User is offline   Mr_Jet Icon

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:24 PM

Hell if Michael Sam can tackle Tom Brady onto the turf on a regular basis, I'm all for him being on Jets. Especially because it would piss some people off.
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View PostFlyHiJets, on 01 June 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

You're the scumbag that thinks everyone should kiss the as$es of a bunch of criminals but I'm a dumbass. Yeah okay douchebag. Go give some illegal wetback or Revis another blowjob. But then again.....don't you live in an entirely different country but yet think you can tell us how to live? Go fvck yourself little boy. You're likely still living with mommy & daddy. Pu$$y.


View Postazjetfan, on 02 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

There are a few things I have realized about Mr. Jet over a few topics.

1) He is a racist. By constantly using race as a battling tool.
2) He is an extreme Liberal. If you are on either extreme you are probabaly more wrong than right.
3) He is one of those people who will never admit fault, error or defeat.
4)His life sucks and he takes it out on people who don't share in his views.
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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:59 PM

View PostChaos, on 09 February 2014 - 09:45 PM, said:

Was that ever confirmed (him being gay)?



I don't think Rhodes ever admitted to it, but clearly he is. And that is definitely why Rhodes didn't get a job in 2013, considering he was a top 10 safety in 2012. He would have started on our defense, though I think that bridge was burnt because Rhodes didn't get along with Dennis Thurman. I think Rhodes was expecting to play football in 2013, it wasn't like he retired.

I think it is a really stupid reason not to sign someone. If the player can play, it shouildn't matter what he does in his personal life, as long as hes not getting into trouble.
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#10 User is offline   Smedsthejet Icon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:59 PM

View Postazjetfan, on 10 February 2014 - 02:56 AM, said:

I think it was pretty clear he is. I also think that is the reason his NFL career is over. It's interesting he came out before the draft. Makes wonder why. Unfortunately he probably cost himself a lot of money.


I have read he was out to his Missouri teammates prior to the college season and that the plan was for him to come out the closet publically around the time of the combine. However, numerous outlets caught wind of what was to break and so Sam has gone publically now.

I doubt he cost himself anything - by the time of the draft, the story will be less about his sexuality and more to do with his game tape and combine and pro day performances. If teams are happy to take flyers on guys with criminal convictions or those who have been kicked out of school, then you'd think someone who earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year won't get overlooked just because of his sexuality.

Anyway, at the moment, you can't be anything but happy for him.
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#11 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

View PostSmedsthejet, on 10 February 2014 - 01:59 PM, said:

I have read he was out to his Missouri teammates prior to the college season and that the plan was for him to come out the closet publically around the time of the combine. However, numerous outlets caught wind of what was to break and so Sam has gone publically now.

I doubt he cost himself anything - by the time of the draft, the story will be less about his sexuality and more to do with his game tape and combine and pro day performances. If teams are happy to take flyers on guys with criminal convictions or those who have been kicked out of school, then you'd think someone who earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year won't get overlooked just because of his sexuality.

Anyway, at the moment, you can't be anything but happy for him.


I give him huge kudo's. I am truly happy for the dude. However right or wrong this is teams will shy away due to this. Not saying he will not be drafted, just that he will slip. Teams will take players with simular talent levels before him. Maybe not because they are anti gay but because they can avoid the media and possible locker room rifts.
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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:46 PM

I honestly really hope the Jets take him in the 3rd-4th round. He'll fill a need at OLB
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#13 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:06 PM

View PostHarlemHxC814, on 10 February 2014 - 03:46 PM, said:

I honestly really hope the Jets take him in the 3rd-4th round. He'll fill a need at OLB


I dont follow college ball much. Do you say that because he is gay or is he worth the pick?
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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:31 PM

View Postazjetfan, on 10 February 2014 - 05:06 PM, said:

I dont follow college ball much. Do you say that because he is gay or is he worth the pick?


He would hands down be worth the pick in the 3rd/4th round (depending on what the draft board looks like). The kid can play. He led the SEC last season in sacks and tackles for loss. I couldn't care less if he likes dick one way or the other.
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#15 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:19 PM

View PostHarlemHxC814, on 10 February 2014 - 06:31 PM, said:

He would hands down be worth the pick in the 3rd/4th round (depending on what the draft board looks like). The kid can play. He led the SEC last season in sacks and tackles for loss. I couldn't care less if he likes dick one way or the other.

Charlie Cassely said he has him projected in the 4-5 the round. More of a ST player. ESPN said he is to small for 4-3 and has not shown ability to cover.
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#16 User is offline   Mr_Jet Icon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:03 PM

View Postazjetfan, on 10 February 2014 - 09:19 PM, said:

Charlie Cassely said he has him projected in the 4-5 the round. More of a ST player. ESPN said he is to small for 4-3 and has not shown ability to cover.


He's only 2 inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Calvin Pace is. But more importantly he's younger than Pace is. From the draft projections I've heard/read most of them are saying he should be drafted anywhere between the third and fifth rounds. But he still has the combine and his pro day still to do. Some projections back in December had him as high as a second round pick.


The last 10 SEC Defensive Players of the Year:

2013: Michael Sam, Missouri
2012: Jarvis Jones, Georgia (1st round pick)
2011: Morris Claiborne, Louisiana State (1st round pick)
2010: Patrick Peterson, Louisiana State (1st round pick)
2009: Rolando McClain, Alabama (1st round pick)
2008: Eric Berry, Tennessee (1st round pick)
2007: Glenn Dorsey, Louisiana State (1st round pick)
2006: Patrick Willis, Mississippi (1st round pick)
2005: Demeco Ryans, Alabama (2nd round pick)
2004: David Pollack, Georgia (1st round pick)
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View PostFlyHiJets, on 01 June 2013 - 08:35 PM, said:

You're the scumbag that thinks everyone should kiss the as$es of a bunch of criminals but I'm a dumbass. Yeah okay douchebag. Go give some illegal wetback or Revis another blowjob. But then again.....don't you live in an entirely different country but yet think you can tell us how to live? Go fvck yourself little boy. You're likely still living with mommy & daddy. Pu$$y.


View Postazjetfan, on 02 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

There are a few things I have realized about Mr. Jet over a few topics.

1) He is a racist. By constantly using race as a battling tool.
2) He is an extreme Liberal. If you are on either extreme you are probabaly more wrong than right.
3) He is one of those people who will never admit fault, error or defeat.
4)His life sucks and he takes it out on people who don't share in his views.
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#17 User is offline   SecondHandJets Icon

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

Would love to draft him. He probably cost himself at least 2 rounds with his gay ass, so maybe with our comp pick in the 4th or our 5th round pick.
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#18 User is offline   bleedsgreen Icon

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:59 AM

It wasn't so long ago that no one would draft a Black player. Till the Cleveland Browns said f*** it and drafted Bill Willis and then proceeded to take every black player they could find. The result a ridicules amount of talent and several championships. Other teams took notice and started drafting Black Players.
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#19 User is offline   azjetfan Icon

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

Maybe the Browns should start drafting all gay players to become relevant again
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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:31 PM

View Postazjetfan, on 12 February 2014 - 11:38 AM, said:

Maybe the Browns should start drafting all gay players to become relevant again


No way will any self respecting gay dude get caught on camera in that fugly uniform.
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