Michael Sam is determined to make his dream of becoming an NFL player a reality, despite the hardships.
In his first interview since being cut from the Dallas Cowboys, Sam opened up to Oprah about his tumultuous childhood, other gay players in the NFL and what the future holds.
Sam made waves when he decided to come out as gay earlier this year prior to the NFL draft, but many wondered if it was the best move.
When asked if he thinks coming out was the best choice and if it’s the reason he’s not in the NFL, Sam says he stands by his decision.
“I don’t like to think that way,” Sam says. “But I do believe I’m a very talented football player and I’m going to continue on working hard and trying to get that opportunity to play in the league.”
Sam also revealed that other gay players in the NFL have reached out to him, When asked how many, Michael declines to give a number but said, “There’s a lot of us out there. I’m just the only one who’s open.”
He told Oprah that trying to encourage other gay NFL players to come out is not his style. “They need to come out whenever they feel comfortable for them coming out,” he said. “Not once have I ever tried to advise them coming out.”
When it comes to his childhood and what it took to get to where he is Sam says it was his own brothers that made things hard for him.
“They called me a lot of things. They called me fag, they called me gay — anything you could think of, just to hurt me,” he said. “I couldn’t have anything without them destroying it or taking it from me.”
Despite any difficulties past or present Sam has a bright outlook, “I believe good things are on the horizon,” he says.
Check out the clip below as Sam tells the story of a troubled past with his older brothers.