Michael Sam dropped a shocking acknowledgement in his one-on-one interview with Oprah Winfrey. When asked whether there are other closeted gay players in the NFL, Sam candidly told Oprah that he “knows” there are.
“[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. “There’s a lot of us out there. I’m not the only one. I’m just the only one who’s open.”
Oprah then wondered if Sam encouraged them to join him in coming out. Michael quickly shot down that notion.
“Oh no, there was nothing like that. I couldn’t even advise them. They need to come out whenever they feel comfortable for them coming out,” he told Winfrey. “Not once have I ever tried to advise them coming out.”
Finally, Oprah then asked Michael if he thought his experience would open the door for more NFL athletes to come out. Sam acknowledged that he did, early on anyway.
“I thought it would spark up some stuff. I was wrong. Everyone has to come out in their own time.”
As reported by the Inquisitr, Michael opened up to Oprah Winfrey on a number of topics, ranging from whether he feels his coming out is the reason he is currently unemployed in the National Football League (he does not) to his tormented childhood at the hands of his two brothers, who he claims used to abuse him both physically and verbally.
Another hot button topic that Sam addressed was whether the infamous kiss between himself and his boyfriend was staged. In fact, TMZ posted a story at the time confirming that very accusation.
“We’re told Oprah’s crew was in the room when Sam learned he had been drafted by the St. Louis Rams… and clearly knew his big celebratory kiss with his BF would make for great reality television.”
But Sam disputes the fact, telling Oprah that he believed only the moment he got drafted was going to be filmed.
“That’s what people don’t understand,” he says. “They say it was staged. Well, I’m having fun. I’m in a good mood.”
Michael also had this advice for anyone that was turned off by the expressing of emotions with his significant other.
“If you didn’t like it, grab your remote control, turn the channel,” Sam said.
[Michael Sam photo via Time]