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Welcome Out Michael Sam, University of Missouri Defensive Lineman

Jim Burroway

February 9th, 2014

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman for the University of Missouri Tigers, has come out as gay in interviews with ESPN and The New York Times. According to statements made to both outlets, Sam came out to his team mates and coaches last August:

“Coaches just wanted to know a little about ourselves, our majors, where we’re from, and something that no one knows about you,” Sam said. “And I used that opportunity just to tell them that I was gay. And their reaction was like, ‘Michael Sam finally told us.’ ”

Asked what that moment felt like, Sam said, “I was kind of scared, even though they already knew. Just to see their reaction was awesome. They supported me from Day One. I couldn’t have better teammates. … I’m telling you what: I wouldn’t have the strength to do this today if I didn’t know how much support they’d given me this past semester.”

Sam was named the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, and he was unanimously selected to the first-team All-American. He is already the first Division I college football player in history to come put as gay. If he is picked up on the NFL draft in May, then Sam could become the first openly gay player in NFL history.

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Ben in Oakland
February 10th, 2014 | LINK

Good for you, Michael Sam. You’ve done a great thing. May the trickle of out athletes become an avalanche, if you don’t mind the mixed metaphors.

I find it interesting that his teammates apparently already knew before he told them.

And they didn’t care.

Regan DuCasse
February 10th, 2014 | LINK

He’s handsome, witty, strong, a very imposing presence (6’3, 260lbs), and the brother can PLAY.
He’s a very talented athlete, according to his record.

The funny thing is, any other players who claim they are intimidated by his presence anywhere, are kinda showing what pussies THEY are.

That’s the hilarious irony about homophobic straight men. Gay men become the equalizing factor.
No self respecting, intelligent straight woman should be attracted to straight men who turn into such sexually insecure wimps.
I be like, yeah how does it FEEL now, a-hole?

MattNYC
February 10th, 2014 | LINK

Kudos to Sam. Hope the Dolphins get him (and treat him with respect–their recent history probably makes that a low probability).

Steve in Claremont
February 10th, 2014 | LINK

What a great young man! Given what he says about his past, I think that being openly gay and coming out before the NFL draft are just two in a long string of courageous acts. The success he’s had has required a lifetime of bravery. I wish him well!

Ben In Oakland
February 12th, 2014 | LINK

My letter, published in today’s Chronicle. I’m on a roll!

Congratulations to Michael Sam for coming out at this crucial juncture in his career. Standing up for himself as a proud gay man and football star, he shows far more class and bravery than those disparaging him as a distraction to football’s real goals: making money, and supporting the mythos of masculinity.

We gay men are the whipping boys of this mythology, someone for “real men” to look down on as not “really” men. Imagine a gay man who can compete in the masculinity-defining fields of sport and strength, and still be gay, proud of it, and just as much a man as anyone, maybe even bigger, stronger, and faster. How threatening is THAT to this fragile thing called masculinity?

This isn’t about football or gay men sharing locker rooms. We already do, and the same nonsense was argued against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. This is about the fears engendered and supported by the mythos of masculinity, fears that heterosexual men won’t measure up to the myth, fears that mythologically-not-masculine gay men will surpass them, making them less than men, and perhaps treating heterosexual men exactly as the latter frequently treat women.

And how frightening is THAT?

Mark F.
February 12th, 2014 | LINK

Is he single? LOL.

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