“Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was. I knew that I was gay. And I knew that I was Michael Sam, who’s a Mizzou football player who happens to be gay. I was so proud of myself and I just didn’t care who knew. If someone on the street would have asked me, ‘Hey, Mike, I heard you were gay. Is that true?’ I would have said yes. But no one asked. I guess they don’t want to ask a 6-3, 260-pound defensive lineman if he was gay or not,” – Michael Sam, New York Times. There’s a great video interview with him here.
What’s so encouraging here is not just that he’s African-American but that he was already out among his team-mates. So there’s no shock in the team, and what seems like a really adjusted, virtually normal life. He’s also really good – and yes, I infer that solely from the fact that the AP named him their SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
This is the next gay generation. You cannot stop their self-esteem. And you cannot pigeon-hole them into any category. You just have to get out the way.
(Photo: Michael Sam #52 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates with fans following a game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Oxford, Mississippi. Missouri defeated Ole Miss 24-10. By Stacy Revere/Getty Images.)