First Out Pro Footballer Celebrates Success In Spain

Image via Instagram @mikeysam52

Michael Sam is back! And, he’s sharing how coming back to football has saved him.

Earlier this year, Michael Sam landed a coaching job in Barcelona, Spain. The first openly gay pro football player to be selected in the NFL Draft became the new assistant defensive line coach for the Barcelona Dragons. But then in June, Sam became an active player for the first time in seven years. And now, the history-making athlete is sharing how much that job has meant to him.

Sam was recently the subject of a new ESPN feature titled, “The Unfinished Story.” In the video, reporter Chris Connelly talks to Sam about his time in the European Football League.

“Football is a privilege, not a right,” said Michael Sam. “I don’t take it for granted anymore. Going out there, hanging out with the guys, being able to hit again. The energy, everything is therapy for me. This team has helped me so much mentally and emotionally. They’ve probably even saved my life.”

Related: Out NFLer Carl Nassib Signs With New Team

Back in 2014, college graduate Michael Sam made history by coming out as gay. He was then selected by the Rams in the seventh round of the draft but was released during training camp. Then after signing onto the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys, Sam was dropped from the team. He then joined the Canadian Football League but shortly left for personal reasons in 2015.

All of those struggles within the sport left a bad impression on Michael Sam. In 2019, the athlete expressed regret for coming out pre-draft. But, he still respected the sport.

“The NFL gave me a raw deal,” he said in a speech at the University of Virginia. “It was tough to forgive them. I love football. Football gave me an education and gave me the opportunity I so desperately needed at the time. I really am grateful for the sport.”

But now at 32-years-old, Michael Sam says he’s having the best time of his life. But, he expects his time in Barcelona to be the official end to his sports career.

“This is it, whether it’s this season or the next two seasons,” he said. “This is my high rise of playing professional football.”

2 thoughts on “First Out Pro Footballer Celebrates Success In Spain”

  1. The laugh’s on them. Michael Sam gets to coach football and live in Barcelona, which they’re stuck in fucking Dallas with all the Baptists. 😉

    Reply

Leave a Comment