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Thursday, February 09, 2017

'Sports World Discomfort With Gays Hurt My Career' Says First Openly Gay NFL Player

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Written by Wendy Liberatore


Former NFL player Michael Sam said he always felt like an outsider — the deaths of two older brothers, the bullying he endured by other family members and even his mother's religion, Jehovah's Witness, made him feel apart from his peers. But nothing made him feel more like an outsider than being gay in the NFL. "I had to prove myself, to show that I was one of the guys," said Sam, who spoke Tuesday night as part of Sexuality Month at the University at Albany. "I was cut from the Rams, even though I was in the top five in sacks. Then I went to the Cowboys and had to do it all over again. And then I was cut there. I always felt like an outsider looking in."

RELATED Michael Sam Is Leaving Pro Football


"When I came out to the world on Feb. 9, 2014, I got tons of emails from people telling me how they were condemned for their sexuality," said Sam. "It made me sad and angry. I spoke to one girl who told me that because I came out, she didn't commit suicide. I was speechless." The attention and what he believes is the sports' discomfort with homosexuality ultimately destroyed his career. READ MORE

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