Out pro-footballer Michael Sam has penned an op-ed for SI.com wherein he shares his thoughts on the past year as he became the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Deciding to publicly come out is a major moment in every gay person’s life, and nobody wants to be outed. So the reason I came out in the public way I did, in a nationally televised interview, was to ensure that I would again have a chance to tell my story on my own terms.
I don’t think I was prepared, nor could I possibly have been, for what happened next. So many people called me courageous, and some even called me a hero, while others told me that my announcement had given them inspiration and even helped them in their personal journeys. For the record, I don’t consider myself a hero or courageous. I was just being true to myself, but if that was enough to help some people through a difficult time in their lives, then I am very grateful to have been able to do so.
I don’t believe that being gay has kept me off an NFL roster, but I will challenge anyone who says I don’t have the talent to make it in the league, and I will continue to push myself every single day and do whatever it takes until I can to earn another roster spot.
Read Sam’s full essay at SI.com.
And check out his interview with SI’s Robert Kiemko below: