Michael Sam is sharing a sad truth about when he came out.
Sam is a Former NFL player who played for the St. Louis Rams. But now he says that he regrets coming out as a gay man prior to being drafted into the team.
While talking to the University of New Mexico, Michael Sam says he got a “raw deal” from NFL teams who didn’t want to sign him after finding out that he was gay, according tothe Albuquerque Journal.
Michael Sam came out during his senior season at the University of Missouri. Afterwards, he had a hard time getting drafted into a professional team within the NFL. While Sam eventually got into the St. Louis Rams, a recording of himself kissing his boyfriend, former UM swimmer Vito Cammisano, in celebration swept news cycles. This then freaked out the NFL even more.
“Who the hell was I supposed to kiss?” Sam said while doing a different speech at the University of Virginia. “The media made such a big deal out of it.”
Later, Sam was cut from the team at the end of the preseason. Four days later, Sam joined the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad, but was dropped from them seven weeks later.
Michael Sam tried to keep his career together by joining the Canadian Football League but shortly left for personal reasons in 2015. He says it was for his mental health and later revealed his fight with depression.
“The NFL gave me a raw deal,” he said to the crowd on Tuesday night. “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.”
Since then, Michael Sam has been traveling the nation to speak to University students about his struggle and to shine a light on the toxic atmosphere around the sport.
It's not all doom and gloom though, as Sam has also openly supported the increasing amount of players, both professional and collegiate, who have come out since he did.
My story is about owning your truth, perseverance and self-discovery,” Sam told UV students “It was the first time I owned those words and was living my truth.".