Former Defensive end Michael Sam has claimed the reason he has not been able to get signed to an NFL team is directly related to his coming out gay in 2013. His detractors suggest it has nothing to do with his sexual orientation but instead, his playing abilities.
In an interview carried on the Edge of Sports, Michael Sam said: “I think if I never would have came out, never would have said those words out to the public, I would still be currently in the NFL. But because of me saying those words, I think it could have played a huge part in my current situation.”
As many recall, Sam was the recipient of much public attention surrounding his NFL draft in 2014 because he was the first openly gay man ever to be picked by a professional team.
Sam was a winning Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year in his senior season at Missouri. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014 in the seventh round and according to the stats, was 249 of 256 players selected.
Ultimately, the Rams decided to cut Sam just before the official season started. He then joined the Dallas Cowboys practice squad later that season but was eventually released by the team.
Sam then joined a Canadian organization, the Montreal Alouettes in 2015, playing just one game. He departed Montreal, claiming he was working through some personal issues. “The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health,” he shared on his Twitter account.
Sam’s detractors are suggesting he’s playing the “LGBT victim card” by inferring the NFL has an anti-gay bias rather than acknowledge his poor playing skills.
In January 2015, Sam became engaged to his boyfriend, Vito Cammissano, in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City. The story was carried on TMZ with pictures. Below is a picture of the couple from Vito’s Instagram account.
What do you think – has Michael Sam been unfairly treated because he is openly gay? Be sure to vote in our poll.