Speaking with Variety, reality television star Colton Underwood discussed how he was affected by Michael Sam's coming out gay.

Underwood came out gay last month in a Good Morning America interview, making him the first openly gay man to come from The Bachelor franchise.

Before his appearance on The Bachelor, Underwood was drafted in the NFL. His NFL career, which included stints with the San Diego Chargers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Oakland Raiders, lasted roughly two years and was over by 2016.

In 2014, Sam became the first-ever openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team.

“I had the opportunity [to come out] in 2014 when I entered the draft,” Underwood said. “Michael Sam came out.”

Underwood explained that football players he knew “didn't say nice things” about Sam's coming out.

“But I didn’t have the courage and I wasn’t at a point in my life where I was ready to come out – if anything, Michael Sam coming out and being so public about it put me in the closet even further because I didn’t want to be like Michael, in the sense that I didn’t want it to be negative or bad,” Underwood said.

(Related: Colton Underwood says he decided to come out gay after blackmail threat.)

Underwood also told Variety that he's looking forward to starting a family.

“I feel like I was born to be a dad,” he said.

“I can still do all of the things that I thought were only possible in a straight relationship,” Underwood said. “I have not had an emotional connection with a man. Physically, sure. But that’s the whole point of coming out, so that I didn’t have to just view being gay as pleasure, and I could experience love and the fullness of everything that I want out of a relationship. I want a partner and a husband more than anything, and I want a family. I want kids, I want dogs, I want the whole nine yards, and I never knew that was possible until I came out and got to lean into my truth.”

“I can, for the first time in my life, actually picture myself with a family – and my family looks a little different than when I pictured it four or five years ago, but it just makes me happy, even thinking about it,” he said with a big smile.