First-team all-American Michael Sam, of the University of Missouri, has publicly come out of the closet. With Sam’s announcement, he could potentially become the first openly gay NFL player after this year’s draft. From the New York Times:
As the pace of the gay rights movement has accelerated drastically in recent years, the sports industry has seen relatively little change, with no publicly gay male athletes in the N.F.L., the N.B.A., the N.H.L. or Major League Baseball. Against this backdrop, Mr. Sam could become a symbol for the country’s gay rights movement or a flashpoint in a football culture war — or both.
Mr. Sam, 24, is projected to be chosen in the early rounds of the N.F.L. draft in May, ordinarily an invitation to a prosperous professional career. He said he decided to come out publicly now because he sensed that rumors were circulating.
“I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it,” said Mr. Sam, who also spoke with ESPN on Sunday. “I just want to own my truth.”