Joe Robbins/Getty Images(DALLAS) — Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft, said on Thursday that there are more gay players currently playing in the NFL.
In a Q&A session in Dallas Thursday, Sam said that other players have reached out to him to thank him for having the courage to be open about his sexuality.
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m just saying there is a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.”
“Was it a risky move? Yes. But at that moment, the reason why I came out is I thought it wasn’t going to be a big deal,” Sam continued. “Maybe I was naive. Maybe I thought it was 2014, and people will understand that there’s gay NFL players. There’s gay athletes everywhere. But I was clearly wrong. It was a huge deal.”
“The players who have reached out to me and told me about their sexual orientation, it just means a lot. But I will never say anything about who they are, what teams they are [on]. I’m just saying there’s some famous people, and I’m not the only one,” he added.
Sam failed to make the St. Louis Rams last year after being drafted by them and then played on the Dallas Cowboys practice team squad before being released on Oct. 21.
“Hopefully I’m not being discriminated [against] because I’m gay,” Sam said Thursday, according to the paper. “I don’t believe that I’m being discriminated [against] because I’m gay. I just want to know if I’m truly not in the NFL, it’s because of talent. Let it be because of my talents. But you’ve got to prove that I can’t play this game. If you look at the film, clearly I can. So, I’ll leave it at that.”
Sam participated in the first-ever veteran combine last weekend and ran the 40 in 4.99 seconds.
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