In May 2014, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted into the National Football League. Since then, he says he has been contacted by other gay players in the NFL who aren’t public.
“Very few reached out to me and pretty much just told me their gratitude,” Sam tells Oprah Winfrey, in an interview airing Saturday evening on OWN. “They wished that they had the courage to come out.”
When asked how many, Michael declines to give a number. “There’s a lot of us out there,” he says. “I’m just the only one who’s open.”
Sam, who was cut from the St. Louis Rams after the preseason, signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but was waived in October and is currently a free agent.
Here’s a preview of the interview:
Also in the interview, Sam — one of eight children 5 boys and 3 girls — talks openly about two older brothers known as the “damn Sams” who made his life difficult. “They used to abuse me daily,” he says. “Maybe just for fun. Maybe because I was different.”
The interview airs Saturday, December 27, at 10:30 ET on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), following the premiere of a Michael Sam documentary at 9 ET.