During an appearance Wednesday on Good
Morning America, Michael Sam told co-anchor Robin Roberts that
he's heard from many closeted gay athletes.
Sam, 24, who came out gay in February,
could make history this weekend as the first openly gay NFL player.
“Was Deion Sanders on point with his
statement that all locker rooms – high school and the professional
leagues – are already occupied by players in the closet who are
afraid to come out and why is that?” a viewer asked through
“You know on the night of my
announcement that week I'd gotten so many emails, so many text
messages from my college and NFL players and other athletes in the
sport industry about how courageous I was. Them themselves are
closeted homosexuals. So, yeah, I'm not the only one. There's a lot
of us,” Sam answered.
“I heard from a good portion of
them,” he added.
When Roberts asked “What do you want
people to know on the eve of the NFL draft?” Sam answered: “I'm
here to stay. Michael Sam is here to stay. I'm not going anywhere.
I want to thank everyone for their support. I hope I do live up to
“And I just want to say, 'Hey, it's
okay to be gay.'” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Also on Wednesday, Sam was announced as
the winner of this year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award. He will receive
the award at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16.