Michael Sam, the first openly gay man to be drafted by an NFL team, claims that his career would have been better had he not come out to the public. Despite what your response to Sam’s assertion may be, we’ll never really know the truth so here are the facts.
In a 13-minute phone interview with sportscaster Dan Patrick, Sam explained that he never intended for his confession to become the media circus that it evolved into. He just wanted to be open with his teammates the way he did in college when he played defensive end for the University of Missouri. However, he suspected that some media members were aware that he had come out as a gay man.
“I wanted to be the one to tell my own story. I didn’t want someone telling it for me,” he told Patrick. Sam was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage award, delivering an inspiring speech about overcoming adversity at the 2014 ESPY’s.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft but was cut shortly before the beginning of the season. He then practiced with the Dallas Cowboys but was waived from their squad as well, which begs the question according to his claim. Was it a lack of talent or his confession that has kept him out of the NFL? Most will agree it’s the former, but Michael Sam won’t stop trying to make it back to the NFL, where he truly believes he belongs.
Sam also spent time with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, but after leaving twice during preseason for “personal reasons,” he made the decision to step away from football. Sam told Patrick, “I wasn’t getting better as a football player. It was a different defense, a defense I wasn’t used to, and all the stuff I learned from the Rams, the Cowboys, I thought I was losing that technique in Montreal.”
He is currently back at the University of Missouri pursuing his Master’s Degree in education and looking to get into broadcasting given his love for football. Though he will always feel like coming out hurt his chances, Sam says he has no regrets in his career thus far.
You have to admire his persistence and positive outlook, but the chances of his return to the NFL as anything other than a broadcaster look slim to none.