Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers celebrates with fans following a victory over the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Nov. 23, 2013. (Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
In interviews, Missouri All-American Michael Sam has said he is gay. The defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.
Sam spoke with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, telling the publications he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.
Sam says: "I am an openly, proud gay man," reports the Associated Press.
He is expected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick.
"I understand how big this is," he told ESPN. "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."
"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 told ESPN about coming out to his teammates.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.