“I am not the only gay person in the NFL.” – Michael Sam

sam_635x250_1427472701It has been widely assumed, as it should be, that Michael Sam was not the only gay player in the NFL when he was with the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys last year.

Sam confirmed that, saying several NFL players contacted him after he was drafted and told him they were gay. The difference, of course, is that Sam was the only one who was openly gay.

“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m just saying there are a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.” Continue reading

Michael Sam to be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

michael-sam.vadapt.620.high.0If this football thing doesn’t work out for Michael Sam, at least he has a fallback plan in place.

According to multiple reports, Sam, the first openly gay man selected in the NFL Draft, will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars” — the show’s 20th season, set to premiere next month.

Hollywoodlife.com confirmed TMZ’s earlier report that Sam would be taking part in the show, and added that other contestants on the hit ABC show will include Rumer Wills, an actress and the oldest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore; Chris Soules, a former “Bachelor”; actress Willow Shields; LMFAO front man Redfoo, and “a person related to the Kennedys.”

If true, Sam’s participation in the show does put into question his future in the NFL, even for next season. Sam, a defensive end out of Missouri who was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, is currently a free agent. He was cut by St. Louis in the final cuts of the preseason, then signed for a brief time to the Cowboys practice squad until Dallas released him, as well. He has yet to play a down in a regular-season NFL game. Continue reading

Jason Collins Plans To Retire, Says There Are Closeted Players In Every Sport

JasonCollinsIt has been 18 exhilarating months since I came out in Sports Illustrated as the first openly gay man in one of the four major professional team sports. And it has been nine months since I signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay male athlete to appear in a game in one of those leagues. It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history.

On Wednesday at the Barclays Center, I plan to announce my retirement as an NBA player. …

… There are still no publicly gay players in the NFL, NHL or major league baseball. Believe me: They exist. Every pro sport has them. I know some of them personally. When we get to the point where a gay pro athlete is no longer forced to live in fear that he’ll be shunned by teammates or outed by tabloids, when we get to the point where he plays while his significant other waits in the family room, when we get to the point where he’s not compelled to hide his true self and is able to live an authentic life, then coming out won’t be such a big deal. But we’re not there yet.”

— Jason Collins announcing his retirement in a column he wrote for Sports Illustrated