Will Michael Sam be the NFL’s first gay player?

Feb 10, 2014

Missouri v Kentucky

Michael Sam #52 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates with fans after the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. Missouri won 48-17. ; Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri and a N.F.L. draft prospect, has come out as gay, paving the way to become possibly the first openly gay player in the pro-football league. 

The 24-year-old Sam made his declaration to The New York Times on Sunday. At 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, Sam was named the top defensive player in the Southeastern Conference, thought to be the country’s best college football league.

Sam is expected to be picked in the third of later rounds of the NFL draft in May. Does his disclosure positively or negatively impact his draft prospects? Is the NFL, with the league’s macho overtones, ready for an openly gay athlete? How are fans reacting?


Michael Schottey, NFL National Lead Writer for the Bleacher Report

Andrew Zimbalist, Professor of Economics at Smith College and co-author of “The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball”  (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)

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