Michael Sam to Oprah: Gay NFL Players Reached Out To Me

In tonight’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael Sam says several gay NFL players have reached out to him after he was drafted:

Sam: “Very few reached out to me and pretty much just told me their gratitude and how thankful they were that I had the courage. They wished that they had the courage to come out.”

Oprah: “Gay men in the NFL reached out to you and called you?”

Sam: “Yes. They just showed their respect and admired my courage. It was very good.”

Oprah: “You’re using the plural. ‘Men.’ Not ‘man.’”

Sam: “Men. There’s a lot of us out there. I’m not the only one. I’m just the only one who’s open.”

The special episode of “Oprah Prime” airs tonight, Saturday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 p.m. ET, after the debut of the 90 minute documentary “Michael Sam” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah Winfrey Network To Air Documentary “Michael Sam” December 27, 2014

On Saturday, December 27, the Oprah Winfrey Network will air the documentary, “Michael Sam.” The film chronicles the first year roller coaster ride of the first out athlete to be drafted in the NFL.

Immediately following the documentary, Oprah will air an exclusive “Oprah Prime” one-on-one interview with Michael Sam. This will be Sam’s first TV interview since being cut from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Originally intended to be a reality/docu-series following Michael Sam during his first season with the NFL, the project was shelved so that Sam could focus on football exclusively. The series has now been edited into a 90 minute documentary.

From OWN:

The OWN documentary follows the former University of Missouri college football star as he enters the world of professional football and vies for a spot on an NFL team. Cameras get up close and personal with Michael as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports. The documentary captures the moment when Michael was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, the intense media scrutiny that immediately followed, and Michael’s struggle to stay focused despite the pressure and chaos. Additionally, the documentary explores Michael’s relationship with his boyfriend Vito and the challenge of balancing his personal life alongside his pursuit of NFL stardom of Michael Sam, who made history when he became the first openly gay football player drafted into the NFL.

The documentary will air Saturday, December 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Michael Sam – #IAmUnbroken

Out football player Michael Sam shares his emotional roller coaster ride as the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL this past year as part of a campaign called #IAmUnbroken.

From being SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American at the University of Missouri to NFL draft day, to being cut by the St Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys, Sam still stands tall in his conviction to play in the NFL: “I’m not afraid to continue on this journey to try to make an NFL team. That is my dream, I am determined to make it to the NFL.”

According to press materials, the campaign “invites those from all walks of life to share their stories of triumph.”

Jolie’s film, “Unbroken,” tells the inspiring story of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini. The film debuts Christmas Day.


Michael Sam: I Don’t Think It Had To Do With Talent

Out football player Michael Sam got cornered by TMZ at LAX yesterday, where he fielded a few questions about his plans moving forward, plus whether or not he thought coming out affected his NFL prospects.

When asked if he thinks NFL teams are shying away from him because of his sexual orientation … or if it has to do with the level of talent he faced after college:

“I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year … so I don’t think it had to do with talent.”

As always, Sam handles himself and the questions with grace. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

By the way, he’s looking pretty handsome here, don’t you think?

Michael Sam In Talks To Play In Canadian Football League

Could Michael Sam’s football career take him north?

According to Chris Battaglia at The Score, the Montreal Alouettes are talking to Michael Sam about playing there in 2015 and the chances are “50/50” that the deal could work.

The possibility of Sam playing for the Alouettes has been up in the air since the St. Louis Rams released him at the end of preseason play. That was when it came to light that Sam was on Montreal’s negotiation list,  which means the CFL team has the exclusive right to sign him.

Sam has been a free agent since the Dallas Cowboys cut him from their practice squad in October.

The Alouettes were eliminated from the CFL playoffs in the East Division final after going 8-2 in their last 10 regular-season games. Defense was Montreal’s biggest strength, and adding a player of Sam’s caliber would give it arguably the best pass rush in the league.

Former NFL scout Russ Lande believes Sam’s body type and playing style are well-suited for Canadian football, comparing him to former Calgary Stampeders defensive end Cordarro Law. Law signed with the San Diego Chargers and made his NFL debut this year after recording 14 sacks with the Stampeders in 2013.

“(Sam) could star in the CFL,” Lande told Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City. “The reality is, in the CFL, a lot of their pass rushers are 250-pound, smallish guys who’ve got quick feet. (Sam) can run, he uses his hands well, he’s got a nose for the quarterback.”

Additionally, Sam may be getting an offer from Vince Neil (front man for Mötley Crüe) who owns the Las Vegas Outlaws franchise of the Arena Football League.

NFL’s Michael Sam: “I Have No Regrets”

Out NFL-er Michael Sam talking to GQ Magazine’s Andrew Corsello:

“If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did, never would have told it the way I did,” Michael Sam tells GQ’s Andrew Corsello of his decision to come out prior to the NFL draft.

“But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn’t have the year I did, nobody would have cared.

“But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason.

“It looks good to see me in the position I’m in now, because I can show the world how good I am and rise up the ranks. I’m at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I’m a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player.”

Read the full interview at GQ.

Who knows what’s next for Michael Sam, but I still believe in this guy. He was and is the right guy at the right time.

Watch.

Michael Sam Named As One Of GQ’s “Men Of The Year”

Out NFL-er Michael Sam named as one of GQ Magazine's "Men Of The Year"

What a year for out NFL-er Michael Sam.

The 24 year old became the first openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team, the St. Louis Rams.

After a solid pre-season, Sam was cut by the Rams but picked up by the Dallas Cowboys for their practice squad. That stint lasted seven weeks but in characteristic courage and grace he publicly thanked the Cowboys owner, friends, family and fans for their support.

Where Sam goes from here, we wait and see. But I’m certain his journey has only just begun.

GQ Magazine gets big props for putting the handsome Sam on one of the six “Men Of The Year” covers.

Other cover men include Chris Pratt, Steve Carell, Dave Chappelle, Shailene Woodley, and Ansel Elgort.

Michael Sam Released From Dallas Cowboys Practice Squad

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, has hit another momentary stumbling block to joining the active roster of an NFL team.

Michael Sam has been released from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

UGH.

From USA Today:

The Dallas Cowboys waived the rookie end off their practice squad Tuesday and signed linebacker Troy Davis.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was waived in the final round of cuts by the St. Louis Rams in August and was available for several days before the Cowboys picked him up.

Sam was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round out of Missouri.

Just this past weekend Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones was quoted as saying, “Sam has blended in seamlessly with the Cowboys” and that Sam’s sexuality was “a dead issue.”

The Cowboys defense had been considered weak in the last few seasons, so Sam seemed a good fit for the practice squad. But the Cowboys have racked up an impressive 6-1 record in the current NFL season.

With his trademark class and positive perspective, Sam made this statement via Twitter:

“I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”

Quote of the Day: Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys on Michael Sam

Dallas Cowboys’ Michael Sam

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Michael Sam’s sexuality – “It’s a dead issue. A dead issue:”

“Sam has blended in seamlessly with the Cowboys, doing whatever is asked of him in practice – even playing a little offense on the scout squad. He watches from the sidelines with the other practice players during home games, coming up to the edge of the field to study the defense and going back to the bench to join in the breakdowns after each series.

“He comes to work every day, practices hard,” coach Jason Garrett said last week. “He’s working on his skills and trying to develop.”