Coming out as gay to the New York Times this past week, Missouri football star Michael Sam has the world buzzing. Sam's name will hit the NFL draft board this May. From sports stars to Sam's father, people are reacting to Sam's sexuality.
Will a NFL team take a chance on Missouri's defensive end?
What do Sam's teammates think?
Voice of a Friend: Max Copeland
Former Missouri teammate and roommate Max Copeland was one of the first to support Sam. Relief for Sam was expressed by Copeland.
"You've got a brother that's just carrying a heavy burden um, to see him just drop it, and kind of feel kind of like that weight falling off of him. You're happy for him. I've almost felt a sense of kind of relief for him," said Copeland as stated in a video on espn.go.com.
"I've known Mike for a long time," continued Copeland. "And you know, when you're in a bond that's kind of a warrior bond- you know, you play football together, you go to war together, even though we're not. But, we trick ourselves into thinking that we are."
Sam's sexuality is secondary to what Copeland feels really matters.
"The only things that are important. Are you going to work as hard as you can? Are you loyal? Are you honest and are you a good dude? Boom-boom-boom-boom. Mike has all four of those things. Nothing else matters. I love him to death because of those things. And why would anything else matter? He's a great dude to go to battle with and anything else is just details," said Copeland.
The Coach's View: Gary Pinkel
University of Missouri headcoach Gary Pinkel has stood behind Sam's decision to come out. When Sam came out to him before his official announcement, Pinkel hugged him and expressed his support. However, being discriminated against in the NFL draft is a possibility. When asked about the chances of Sam's sexual orientation affecting his draft outcome, Pinkel shared his thoughts with KOMU 8 news reporter Mihir Bgahat.
"I don't know," Pinkel told Bgahat. "I would like to think it wouldn't. This is unchartered territories. I think certainly the NFL recognizes the societal changes like we all do. I would like to think it wouldn't affect it at all. Time will tell where he goes."
The Parenting Aspect: Michael Sam Sr.
Unfortunately, Sam's father Michael Sam Sr. is not happy with his son's sexual orientation.
“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said, as stated on www.dallasnews.com. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.
Stating that he is "old-school," Sam Sr. continued with “I’m a man and a woman type of guy.”
While he supports his son's dream of playing in the NFL, Sam Sr. has some concerns for him:
“As a black man, we have so many hurdles to cross. This is just one he has to cross.”
Michael Sam has already started to cross his hurdles and will hopefully make history as the first out player in the NFL.
How has Michael Sam's decision affected you?
How would you feel if Michael Sam was your son?
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