Tags: michael sam | gq | interview | childhood | gay | nfl

Michael Sam GQ Interview: First Gay NFLer on His Rough Childhood

Image: Michael Sam GQ Interview: First Gay NFLer on His Rough Childhood
AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

By    |   Friday, 21 Nov 2014 02:47 PM

Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, bared his soul in a recent GQ interview, sharing the challenges of childhood, coming out, and being true to who he is.

GQ selected Sam as one of its Men of the Year for 2014, an honor that topped months of highs and lows and excessive media coverage after Sam’s decision to come out before the draft — what some said was a potentially career-ending move.

The magazine summed it up: "The first openly gay player in the NFL? When you take a good long look at the path Michael Sam took to get here — the sleepless nights in the backseat of his mother's car, the routine beat-downs from his outlaw brothers, the fact that his own father barely accepts who he is — coming out seems like the easy part."

Sam told GQ he never would have chosen to come out the way he did, but that his University of Missouri teammates knew, as did recruiters, and it was bound to get out. He still was surprised at the level of attention his announcement drew.

"I said I'd take everything that came at me, and I did. But did I think it was gonna be that huge? No. I thought people would be just, 'Okay, he came out,'" Sam told GQ. "And that would be that. Some thought others would join me. I did, too."

Sam was initially drafted by the St. Louis Rams, but failed to make the final roster. He then made the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad for the first few weeks of the regular season, but the team later waived him. He's currently a free agent.

Sam also opened up about the challenges he faced growing up with two brothers who beat up on him and are now in prison.

"My brothers were evil people. I don't have a relationship with them now . . . I will love them from a distance, just like I love my dad from a distance," he said. "But I will never have a special relationship with them. What I went through was scary. For them to dare to call themselves my brothers — I can't live with that."

The article received mixed reviews online, with some applauding Sam's cover and others questioning why GQ would honor him since he has been dropped from two NFL teams.

"GQ says Michael Sam is Man of the Year . . . Pfffft . . . Still on that?" one person tweeted.

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Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, bared his soul in a recent GQ interview, sharing the challenges of childhood, coming out, and being true to who he is.
michael sam, gq, interview, childhood, gay, nfl
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2014-47-21
Friday, 21 Nov 2014 02:47 PM
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