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Michael Sam ready to be known for his football ability

2014 NFL Combine Getty Images

Now that he’s made his announcement, Michael Sam wants to be viewed differently.

Not as the man who’d be the first openly gay player in the NFL, but as an NFL player.

“I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, not Michael Sam the gay football player,” the Missouri defensive end said Saturday.

That’s wishful thinking, and something that might come to pass months from now. He’s the center of attention at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

Moments before he took the podium, Missouri teammate Kony Ealy was introduced, causing many reporters and cameramen to react with groans, realizing it wasn’t the one they were waiting to hear from.

But Sam addressed his situation openly and with a smile, trying to keep the conversation on football as much as possible.

He said teams are asking me “all football questions,” mostly centering on how he’ll adapt to the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker since he lacks the size to play defensive end in a traditional 4-3 role.

“I’m a pass-rusher,” he said, as he said most things, with a smile. “If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback.”

He’s far more than that, and he knows it. But he handled Saturday easily, with a self-depricating manner that will serve him well.

“A trailblazer?” he replied to one question. “I feel like I’m Michael Sam.”

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75 Responses to “Michael Sam ready to be known for his football ability”
  1. chawk12thman says: Feb 22, 2014 2:05 PM

    He isn’t a “red flag” for off the field activity. Now; what is his ability? We all want to know……

  2. thewiseowloftruth says: Feb 22, 2014 2:05 PM

    Good luck with that.

  3. meatcarroll says: Feb 22, 2014 2:07 PM

    ““I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, not Michael Sam the gay football player,” Sam said Saturday.”

    Then you shouldn’t have chose to draw all this attention to yourself, simple as that. But then why would anybody care about just another anonymous run-of-the-mill crappy tweener prospect?

  4. velociraptorwithscissors says: Feb 22, 2014 2:08 PM

    But is the liberal media ready?

  5. skiski7 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:08 PM

    Then why did you tell the world you were gay. We did not need to know what you do in the privacy of your own home. You made the bed now lay down.

  6. thepftpoet says: Feb 22, 2014 2:09 PM

    Michael Sam would be a perfect pass rusher – he loves chasing men.

  7. jersey73 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:09 PM

    Yet it is these supposedly “open-minded” and “tolerant” media people like this site, Peter King, and others who won’t leave the man alone.

    Most of us don’t care about his sexuality and are ready to judge him as a football player and nothing more. That is the utmost in tolerance and respect. But it is the media that keeps thrusting him to be looked at as a “gay man that’s trying to make the NFL”; while the rest of us view him as a “man trying to make the NFL”.

    Sometimes I feel like the media needs to look themselves in the mirror to see who is the least tolerant. It’s almost like the media wants to have a backlash against Michael Sam so they can pounce and scream intolerance. Leave the man alone and let him play football.

  8. 1pwrightt says: Feb 22, 2014 2:10 PM

    Play great football young man and that is what we will be talking about when your name is mentioned.

  9. dioxinblues says: Feb 22, 2014 2:10 PM

    This is just part of the first wave. Once he’s drafted and played his first game then the subject will fade in the eyes of the media, especially as more players come out. I just watched the movie “42” the other day and the parallels are pretty interesting, though I think Sam will have it “easier” than Jackie Robinson by comparison. And that’s a good thing.

  10. paulz624 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:12 PM

    To late for that! He comes out on national TV to announce to the whole world that he’s gay and now he wants everybody not to talk about it and just look at him as a football player? you can’t have it both ways! He should of told just the team that drafted him and the players on that team like he did in college if that’s how he wanted it, he wanted this attention and now he has to deal with it and so does the team that drafts him.

  11. craniator says: Feb 22, 2014 2:14 PM

    If I’m drafting a DE out of Mizzou , I’m taking the Konehead.

  12. thepftpoet says: Feb 22, 2014 2:18 PM

    H

  13. navigator24 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:18 PM

    Leave the kid alone, and let him play football…he’s not going to molest the placekicker.

  14. thepftpoet says: Feb 22, 2014 2:18 PM

    He would be a perfect fit on the GB Packers.

    Doesn’t Sharon Rodgers need a new roommate?

  15. rodvmunchiii says: Feb 22, 2014 2:19 PM

    He’s handling himself well, thank goodness he’s not going the Kluwe route. Now if the media actually just treated him like any other football player he’d be fine. But the media will not, they’ll try to turn him into a hero or a martyr – where as it just sounds like the guy wants to play football.

  16. nflfolly says: Feb 22, 2014 2:19 PM

    Who cares. Why is this below average linebacker getting so much free publicity.

  17. paul82461 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:24 PM

    Who cares! be who you, are theres no need to announce it. I dont go around telling everyone Im straight.

  18. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2014 2:26 PM

    Oh you mean Michael Sam? That gay football player? Yeah, way to go on this one media. Some of you “higher” life forms might be able to put that out of your mind, but to me, he will always be “that gay football player.” Its unfortunate, but hey, if you have something driven into your skull enough that is all you will know.

  19. surfinbird1 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:26 PM

    Why do people say the liberal media aren’t ready for this? Shouldn’t it be that any conservative media aren’t ready for this?

  20. 4allintensivepurposes says: Feb 22, 2014 2:29 PM

    Until he becomes buried on the depth chart. Then it’s back to being “that gay football player”.

  21. cuda1234 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:30 PM

    Sam must be LOVING the combine – all those muscular college guys parading around in their underwear. What more could he ask for?

  22. youhurtmyfeelings says: Feb 22, 2014 2:31 PM

    Hahaha Chris Kluwe….one of the biggest losers in all of sports. Oh wait, he isn’t even in sports anymore unless gay pride parade organization is considered one.

  23. kwgator says: Feb 22, 2014 2:32 PM

    Arena League All-Star

  24. haytammy says: Feb 22, 2014 2:38 PM

    He come out to be a positive role model for young gay men who are struggling with their sexual identity, not to get attention. Some of these comments are making me lose brain cells…

  25. bucsmightbegood says: Feb 22, 2014 2:49 PM

    Bucs 4th round pick?

    Lovie needs some pass rushers.

  26. akboot says: Feb 22, 2014 2:51 PM

    Just when I thought we were finally over this, bamo, we find out breaking news, he wants to be known as a good football player. Good grief!!! I have this feeling were going to get this 24-7 until he retires.

  27. brooklyn40niner says: Feb 22, 2014 2:52 PM

    Sam is a bigger distraction to a franchise than Incognito, Martin, & Ray Rice put together.

    #Don’tAsk #Don’tTell #Don’tCare

  28. ttommytom says: Feb 22, 2014 2:53 PM

    A few of you posters are either ignorant or not paying attention:

    A reporter was going to break the story so he was forced to address it on HIS terms not the Reporter.

    He didn’t wake up one day and say “Hey look at me”. He had a choice to take control (or ahead) of the story and so he did.

  29. dangerturtle says: Feb 22, 2014 2:56 PM

    Everyone keeps asking “Well, why did you come out?” You guys do realize he was about to be outed anyway, so he announced it first so it didn’t get all Manti Teo-esque, right?

  30. footballace says: Feb 22, 2014 3:01 PM

    Michael Sam has handled this situation perfectly so far. I don’t think he wants to be treated differently, and just wants to be known as a football player(which will not happen).

    If he had his choice, I don’t think he would have came out, but he wanted to come out on his terms, not some websites terms.

    He will try his best to be another guy on a 53 man roster, but I do not think the media will give him his wishes, and will make this story bigger than it should be.

  31. markrumsfield says: Feb 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    Love these posters that say he is doing this for attention…

    did Rosa Parks sit in the front of the bus for attention?

  32. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 22, 2014 3:16 PM

    Guy just sold out his personal life because he doesn’t have much chance of becoming much of a pro football player. Ignore him and maybe he’ll go away on his own.

  33. Dogsweat says: Feb 22, 2014 3:19 PM

    San Francisco bound….

  34. vusnu says: Feb 22, 2014 3:23 PM

    How can Michael Sam be blamed for his coming out announcement. From what I’ve read, he’s gotten a lot of endorsements and is making out quite well financially as a result.

  35. chat1776 says: Feb 22, 2014 3:26 PM

    Right.

    He goes public with his passion for acting like a woman and having sex with other men, but now wants to be known for his ability.

    Fat chance.

  36. slick50ks says: Feb 22, 2014 3:26 PM

    This is an awful lot of noise about a guy that won’t be in the league in two years.

  37. afcdomination says: Feb 22, 2014 3:27 PM

    this is one of the things that drives me nuts about his situation and the media. he had more media there than the potential number 1 pick. this guy was the top defender in his conference, yes, but at the same time he is expected to be a 3rd-5th round pick. it is absolutely ridiculous that he gets this much attention, NFL N is totally to blame as well, as they have a preview for the combine and its MANZIEL, BRIDGEWATER, CLOWNEY, SAM

    now, what is wrong with that picture? all those names will go top 10, and sam will be lucky to make day 2.

  38. bigwinintx says: Feb 22, 2014 3:27 PM

    I’m betting that someone knew of his lifestyle and was getting ready to blackmail him and Sam decided to “out” himself.
    Too bad he can’t spin this by his agent and PR firm…
    Oh wait.

  39. afcdomination says: Feb 22, 2014 3:30 PM

    him coming out has absolutely nothing to do with it. its the media, and its the reaction to it. its over, move on, this is a football combine where they test your athletic ability and question you about character stuff that has nothing to do with your preference of partner. we have football players with kids from over 4 different mothers. we have ray rice, the good boy, dragging his partner along a floor in a lobby. worrying about or even discussing Sam’s life choice is just silly.

    so much made about what should be not even talked about at this type of event. regardless of whether or not he wanted to come out.

  40. alshonbrandontandem says: Feb 22, 2014 3:35 PM

    Roger Goodell: “The Houston Texans have traded the first overall pick to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers select DE Michael Sam.”

    Aaron Rodgers: Yippeeeeee!!!!

  41. cassrangers says: Feb 22, 2014 3:40 PM

    Michael Sam… the Brittney Griner of the NFL… ;)

  42. mackcarrington says: Feb 22, 2014 3:43 PM

    Say that Sam never said a word about his sexuality.
    Then, the first time someone saw him at a team function, or a charity event with his “partner”, there would be a firestorm anyway. Now at least he can go out to dinner and the movies without having to hide and fear that he would be “outed”.
    This is why he stepped forward. He is saying “now you already know”, so nobody will be blindsided by it later.

  43. barrywhererufrom says: Feb 22, 2014 3:45 PM

    The liberal media will never let this go. A mediocre prospect is already getting too much attention because of them..

  44. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Feb 22, 2014 3:58 PM

    My first question to Mr Sam would be if you were a sure fire 1st round pick would you have outed yourself before,after or never

  45. sariff420 says: Feb 22, 2014 4:02 PM

    So what if a reporter had broken the news??

  46. rightvoted says: Feb 22, 2014 4:24 PM

    Clown Boy SHOULDN’T fell like a “trail blazer’ any more than should the first lemming over the cliff.

    Instead, he should feel like yet another narcissistic “all about me” idiot bent on self aggrandizement and not interested in a cohesive team. His theatrics these last few weeks have proven that beyond a doubt.

  47. jeff6381 says: Feb 22, 2014 4:29 PM

    He will never be just another player because the media is obsessed with him and every time this guy opens his mouth they make him a story.

  48. petehemlock says: Feb 22, 2014 4:46 PM

    There’s no ‘I’ in ‘deprecate’.

  49. linemanguy74 says: Feb 22, 2014 5:06 PM

    Enough already- Daytona 500 tomorrow !!!

  50. kayakattack says: Feb 22, 2014 5:22 PM

    Honestly he’s not that good, and I would not have been surprised to see him go in the 5th-7th round

  51. purpleppleeaters says: Feb 22, 2014 5:31 PM

    So, he makes a statement……………..again……………..about him being gay, and wishes everyone stop talking about it.

    Gladly. You first, Sammy.

    Teo was twice the college linebacker that this guy is, and he has virtually disappeared in the NFL, already. This guy’s name will leave us scratching our heads by next October. The gay angle is truly all you have, Sammy.

  52. samefamilymarriageadvocate says: Feb 22, 2014 5:48 PM

    Why aren’t the other projected 5th rounders getting more attention?

  53. beerndrums says: Feb 22, 2014 5:51 PM

    He won’t even get drafted.

  54. romosrevenge says: Feb 22, 2014 5:56 PM

    After tacitly blackmailing the NFL into being selected by coming out before the Draft, Sam now wants all his future teammates to ignore it because he REALLY wants (now) to be just one of the guys. (No jokes here). This guy is NOT a hero, NOT a role model, but just a player who is willing to exploit his alternate lifestyle for a spot on a roster. And you can bet if he is drafted, his teammates will let him know how much they admire him for using gender politics to get an advantage (sadly) over other deserving, draftable players.

  55. michfan says: Feb 22, 2014 6:01 PM

    Thats what it should be about! Either he can play, or he can’t!

  56. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 22, 2014 6:08 PM

    Why do we really need to know what his sexual preference is?

  57. abninf says: Feb 22, 2014 6:19 PM

    haytammy says:

    He come out to be a positive role model for young gay men
    ==================================

    He came out because the media was about to break the story and teams were asking about it. According to his agent.

  58. egomaniac247 says: Feb 22, 2014 6:32 PM

    The NFL wants the players and locker room to be run more along the HR rules of a white collar corporation.

    No bullying in the locker room.

    No racist slurs on the field.

    But I’ll be damned, no problem letting a gay man change in the locker room with a bunch of naked men.

    No consideration at all for the straight men who may have a problem with that.

  59. kcflake says: Feb 22, 2014 6:42 PM

    Michael sam is naïve if he thinks he will ever be known as anything other than the 1st openly gay nfl player.

  60. johntonioholmes says: Feb 22, 2014 7:00 PM

    For those who forget, he didn’t come out to call attention to himself. He came out because he wanted to beat the media to the punch.

    He’s a low-keyed guy otherwise. Tebow was a bigger distraction than Sam will be.

  61. cuda1234 says: Feb 22, 2014 7:08 PM

    Just remember, its not a story and we know that because all the media stories tell the rest of us its not a story.

  62. jhkayejr says: Feb 22, 2014 7:33 PM

    Lots of people really happy about being bigoted on the internet.

  63. fubar5150 says: Feb 22, 2014 7:45 PM

    He is gay that’s it

  64. doggeatdogg says: Feb 22, 2014 8:03 PM

    Frankly, this was bound to happen sooner or later and the media is looking for a cause. So in effect, it’s good it finally happened, that a player is openly gay and as more come out, the novelty wears off.

    Is it necessary for the media to point out that Michael Vick and Russell Wilson are Black QB’s. Gay players should insist the media and all else refer to them as simply linebacker so and so. No need to add anymore adjectives. We might shock ourselves that a big deal was made out of this in the first place.

    The only way to strip the media of their beating the dead horse topic is by telling them ‘yes, we know’ next question.

  65. smackingfools says: Feb 22, 2014 8:10 PM

    I loved watching the NFL combine commercial they had playing a few days ago. It showed, Clowney, Manziel, and Michael Sam. Of course, my dad asked who is that guy? You know, the one that don’t belong on the commercial? And I said.. Oh, that’s the gay guy. One of those names didn’t belong on that list. And it has nothing to do with his sexuality.

  66. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Feb 22, 2014 8:41 PM

    Michael Sam would be a fringe NFL player at best. He’s too small to take on NFL blockers, and he has no pass coverage skills. If he’s not drafted, it will not be due to his chosen sexual orientation but a result of his lack of ability.

    Sexual orientation should not be a factor in the NFL (or elsewhere), but Mr. Sam chose to make it an issue.

  67. kcflake says: Feb 22, 2014 9:15 PM

    To Markrumsfeld: who wrote “Love these posters that say he is doing this for attention…

    did Rosa Parks sit in the front of the bus for attention?”

    Rosa Parks was 100 Time Braver and Tougher than Michael Sam.

  68. thelastwordyaheard says: Feb 22, 2014 9:43 PM

    photo caption contest.. ready, go!

  69. rbell2123 says: Feb 22, 2014 10:02 PM

    I wish the people comparing Sam to Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks would just stop. Robinson and Parks are heroes for standing for being treated different cause they where born Black. Sam being gay is a life choice and he is not a hero. And he should have kept that info to him self cause i do not believe all the other players announce that they are straight. He is just seeking media attention to boost his draft stock.

  70. jcaro5566 says: Feb 22, 2014 10:05 PM

    How long will it be before pedophiles convince the liberal media that there lifestyle is not a choice but they are born that way, and anyone who does not approve is a biggot? Soon after the first pedophile will be making history at the combine.

  71. lanman11 says: Feb 22, 2014 10:29 PM

    Dude was perfectly anonymous until he shouted to the rooftops that he was going to TRY to be the first openly gay player in the NFL. Now he wants to put the genie back in the bottle. That which has transpired, at his own doing, cannot be undone. He knew what he was looking at. He’s got his 15 minutes of fame. Deal with it.

  72. phillyphan420 says: Feb 22, 2014 10:39 PM

    Hopefully this comment will go through since PFT for some reason felt the need to to repeatedly block my post.

    I look at this both ways:

    The media needs to stop acting like a Martian came down from space and entered the NFL draft. Just chill the eff out a bit.

    I think Sam should be viewed as a regular football player, but you don’t do yourself any favors when you’re wearing a rainbow button while you say it. The LGBT community needs to realize this as well. Support is one thing, but don’t make this kid feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.

    He seems like a very humble, focused football player. His PC today echoed this. STOP making this more than it is, because if the gay community wants to be viewed as normal, then this is not the way for the media to portray it.

  73. bcajun says: Feb 23, 2014 12:55 AM

    Saints? We could at least for depth

  74. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 23, 2014 9:11 AM

    Can’t put the toothpaste back in tube now. Maybe should have stuck with don’t ask, don’t tell.

  75. cashtext4all.com says: Mar 2, 2014 1:33 AM

    Had a bad combine and would go 6th-th round at best. Wished him luck in his career.

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