Must-see morning clip: Top NFL prospect Michael Sam comes out

"I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player, and I'm gay," the SEC defensive player of the year announced Sunday

By Katie McDonough

Published February 10, 2014 1:48PM (EST)

Michael Sam   (Hulu)
Michael Sam (Hulu)

Michael Sam, a defensive end for the University of Missouri, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a top prospect for the May NFL draft, announced he is gay in a Sunday interview with the New York Times.

If Sam is drafted, he will be the first openly gay player in the NFL, a league plagued by a culture of homophobia and hypermasculinity. In an interview with the Times, he acknowledged the historic nature of his announcement, but framed it mostly in personal terms. "I'm coming out because I want to own my truth," he said. “I’m not naive. I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is. But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the NFL."

Sam came out to his Missouri teammates last year, and said he was embraced by his teammates; he's optimistic the same will be true if he's drafted.

"I may be the first, but I won't be the last," he went on to explain. "I think only good things are going to come from this."

Watch the interview here:

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Football Gay Rights Homophobia Lgbt Rights Lgbtq Lgbtq Awareness Michael Sam Nfl Video