by KATIE REITER
All-American defensive lineman and 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam came out to ESPN’s Outside the Lines Sunday evening. Sam, who has been out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri since August, stands to become the first out gay NFL player when he enters the draft this year.
Sam told ESPN his colleagues have been supportive, and his coaches have echoed this sentiment, stating how proud they are of their star defensive lineman. The NFL also released a statement in support of Sam and welcoming him to the league in 2014. Presuming Sam does not become the next Kerry Collins, when he is drafted this year he will become the first out professional football player.
The drafting of an out college star is not the scandalous fashion in which most people anticipated the NFL to see its first out player, but now that it is happening, it seems appropriate. Sam seems like a well-adjusted, happy young person, something that is becoming less of a rarity and more of the norm in the LGBTQ community. He only came out to his parents last week, but he reports that so far, so good.
Head over to ESPN to watch Sam’s interview.