In a Yahoo! Sports profile, Michael
Sam, the first openly gay football player drafted by the NFL, said
that he felt used by everyone, including the LGBT community.
The 29-year-old Sam came out to his
University of Missouri teammates in 2013, before his senior season.
The following year, he became the SEC co-defensive player of the
After being drafted by the St. Louis
Rams but cut before the start of the season, Sam joined the Dallas
Cowboys' 10-man practice squad, where he stayed for seven weeks
before being let go. He never played a regular-season game in the
NFL. A brief stint playing for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian
Football League (CFL) ended with him citing “personal reasons.”
After the end of his football career,
Sam began to drink and do drugs; he became increasingly depressed.
Living in Dallas in the fall of 2016,
Sam said that he reached out to sports organizations and the LGBT
community but was unable to land a job.
“No one would give me a job,” he
said. “Where was the support that I got for coming out? I felt
like I was used by everyone.”
Sam, who says he stopped doing hard
drugs, has been speaking on college campuses and reconnecting with
his family, including his father, who rejected him because of his
“I wish I was still playing
football,” he said, “but I know if I was in the NFL, I wouldn't
have a relationship with my family.”