Michael Sam has no regrets when it comes to the decision to reveal his sexuality before this year’s NFL draft.
“I did everything I was supposed to do. I did everything right,” Sam said in an Oprah Winfrey Network documentary that aired Saturday night. “I am proud of how I handled things.”
Michael also dismissed the notion that his coming out ultimately cost him his dream of playing in the NFL.
“I don’t like to think that way,” Sam said. “But I do believe I’m a very talented football player and I’m going to continue working hard and try to get that opportunity to play in the league.”
Sam also revealed to Oprah that he “knows” there are other closeted gay players in the NFL. He spoke how they reached out to thank him for coming out.
“[A] few reached out to me and pretty much [showed] me the gratitude and [were] thankful that I had the courage… that they wished they had the courage to come out,” Sam said.
When Oprah pressed Michael further on the fact that men — not just one man, implying more than one gay NFL player — reached out, Sam confirmed to her that there are in fact many gay men suiting up in the NFL right now.
“There’s a lot of us out there,” Sam laughed. “I’m not the only one. I’m just the only one who’s open.”
Michael Sam’s story was one of the biggest events in sports history this year, with everyone from Barack Obama to former NFL coaches like Tony Dungy weighing in whether Michael Sam should have come out and whether he can succeed in the NFL.
Thus far, the answer to that question is no. In May, he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the late rounds of the draft, but was soon cut in August, despite receiving accolades for his play. Michael was then picked up by the Dallas Cowboys practice team, but failed to make it onto the roster.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Sam also shared with Oprah about how his childhood was filled with turmoil, after enduring severe bullying by his two brothers whom he believes he will eventually forgive.
“We called the cops on my brothers so many times I can’t even count,” Sam shared. “Not only for hurting me. They’d abuse my sisters. Verbally abuse my mom. Call me that word [fa****t].”
[Michael Sam photo via the NY Times]