Michael Sam was just a defensive end for the University of Missouri Tigers up until a few weeks ago. His recent story has brought him into the limelight and for a story that the world should know.
“I’m Michael Sam, I am an American football player, and I am gay”
These are the words that he spoke to The New York Times in early February, and since then, his announcement, and the ramifications it potentially could have on his career have been constantly talked about.
Though Sam’s announcement was met with immense support from people and organizations such as Bette Midler, The New York Giants, and Michelle Obama (go FLOTUS), it has also been met with the realistic yet unfortunate fact that his coming out could have potential ramifications on his career.
Former New York Giants defensive back Terrell Thomas states, “I know what he did is very courageous, but no one really knows if the NFL is ready for it”. Another player told Sports Illustrated that football is still a, “man’s man game”.
Sam has said in an interview that, “I wanted to succeed and be a beacon of hope in my family. I knew from a young age that I was attracted to guys. I wanted to find who I was and make sure I knew what was comfortable. So I didn’t tell anyone growing up”.
Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants, spoke out on the occurrence and stated, ”Regardless of where you are from, what your religious beliefs are, what your sexual orientation is, if you’re good enough to be on the team, you’re part of the family.”
We applaud Michael Sam on his courage and honesty. His coming out and being so confident in who he is is just another step in the right direction of equality and acceptance for everyone.