Earlier: Startling if inevitable: A college football all-American has come out as gay--and likely will become the first out NFL player (unless another is brave enough to take step). And probably will hurt his draft status, according to anonymous NFL scouts who also claim the league is not ready for this...
As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.
“I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out,” Mr. Sam said Sunday in an interview with The New York Times, the first time he spoke publicly about his sexual orientation.
Long Reads has exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how Sam came out. The Eagle Had Landed.Mr. Sam, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior, went on to a stellar season for Missouri, which finished 12-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. He was named a first-team all-American. He was the defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, widely considered the top league in college football. Teammates voted him Missouri’s most valuable player.