Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL last year. But the defensive end says there are other gay players in the NFL and he knows that because they have reached out to him personally to tell him so.
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday. “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.
“The players who have reached out to me and told me about their sexual orientation, it just means a lot," he added. "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.”
Sam created history last year when he became the first publicly gay player to be drafted, as the St. Louis Rams selected him with the 249th overall pick. Although the Rams ultimately cut Sam and the Dallas Cowboys did the same, he continues his quest to make the NFL.
Sam, a current contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, participated in the NFL's veteran combine earlier this week.
“Hopefully I’m not being discriminated [against] because I’m gay,” Sam said of his struggles landing with another NFL team. “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.”
One scout, speaking under anonymity, told CBS Sports that Sam's combine workout "was bad" and that he simply isn't good enough, adding that "nobody cares" that he's gay and that "it's about him as a player."
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(Photo: Rick Scuteri/AP Photo)