Missouri DE Michael Sam, a projected mid-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, today announced that he is gay. If Sam is drafted or signs with an NFL team, he would become the league’s first openly gay player (and the first active player to come out in any of the four major American leagues).
With an SEC-best 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss, Sam was the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team All-American and a first-team All-SEC selection. Sam made the announcement in an an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines:
“I am an openly, proud gay man,” Sam said. “I understand how big this is…It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers and NBA veteran Jason Collins have both come out, but Sam becomes the first NFL player to make the announcement.