Sam’s father struggles with his son’s revelation


As much as we’d all like to believe that a person’s decision to come out as gay is a non-issue in 2014, it is.  For some, it’s a very big issue.

Michael Sam already has found that out, based on his own father’s reaction to the news that Sam is gay.  Michael Sam Sr. tells the New York Times that he learned of his son’s sexual orientation last Tuesday, and that Sam Sr. has been struggling with the revelation.

The news came via a three-word text message — “Dad, I’m gay” — received while Sam Sr. was eating at Denny’s.

I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said.  “I don’t want my grand kids raised in that kind of environment.”

Sam Sr. explained that he’s “old school . . . a man-and-a-woman type of guy.”  To illustrate the point, Sam Sr. said he took one of his older sons to Mexico so that he could lose his virginity.

As the icing on the cake, Sam Sr. said that Hall of Famer Deacon Jones “is turning over in his grave” at the prospect of an openly gay player in the NFL.

And that’s coming from the father of the NFL’s first openly gay player.  We can predict and we can hope and we can wish that there won’t be problems for Michael Sam, but he’s already got a problem in his immediate family.  There surely will be strangers who feel the same way — and who express those views.

50 responses to “Sam’s father struggles with his son’s revelation

  1. Look its 2014, i really dont care what this guy does off the field, live your life dude, its ashame about his dads comments but…old heads what are you gonna do, now can we start talking about football and move on, its you guys the media that is shoving this down everyones throat and making it more than what it is, jesus……………………….. GET OVER IT!!!

  2. I don’t know the full story about Sam Jr’s upbringing, but I hear he had a tough childhood. Haven’t heard anything about Sam Sr’s contribution to Sam’s young life.

    I could be wrong, but it sounds like he came out of the woodwork in time to get a share of his son’s contract to be. I say let the media pay him for access and now Sam Jr. can just ignore him once the NFL checks start coming.

  3. This is very unfortunate. It’s hurtful enough to know your dad is struggling with accepting you. But to have that struggle shared with the world via the N.Y. Times makes it worse. I hate this era of yellow “journalism” that will do anything for clicks on a webpage. There are some things that should be private and not shared with the world. The struggle of a relationship between father and son is one of those in my book. What does it say about society when this is the “news” we crave? At what point did the cause or advertising revenue become more important than people? We should all be praying for Michael and his family right now. This never ending scrutiny isn’t going to make it any easier on them.

  4. For him to tell his father this way makes you wonder about his judgement or to be blunt lack of – I don’t give a damn about who a player likes to sleep with.. CAN YOU PLAY FOOTBALL? Do you want to?? What’s your agenda Sam??

  5. Based on “dads” body of work with the other siblings, I’d really like to know how much parenting the guy really did. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the one who didn’t adhere to his guidance. Or lack thereof.

  6. I’m sorry, when are we gonna stop excusing this notion of “Well, I’m just old school.” What they think they’re saying is “I’m traditional.” But really, they mean that institutions should remain that way simply by dint of historical inertia. Which means that depending on how old-school one really is slavery, child labor, the wholesale legal demotion of women to second-class status and Prohibition should be reinstituted.

    Being “old-school” is a similarly b***-sh** excuse like when an athlete goes mental in an event and then it’s rationalised as “Well, he’s a fierce competitor.” Bullsh**. There’s still something called sportsmanship & class and people shouldn’t be making excuses or letting lazy justifications slide.

  7. And it shows you how much Sam Jr. respects him. Just shoots him a text, didn’t think he even deserved a phone call. Says a lot about their relationship.

  8. I feel very sorry for this old man, this is his son he is talking about. He should learn how to keep his mouth closed and not sound like a moron

  9. I cant blame him.
    I too was raised on those principles but the taking his to mexico part was funny lol.
    But main point being i see his POV. How are the kids going to learn about interaction with the opposite gender.

  10. senior just wants to leech off of junior. Honestly, if one of my kids said they were gay, I would hug them and say that I still love them no matter what.

    Shame this guy can’t remember that. If I were junior, no more talking to my close minded father.

  11. Plus lets face it, he ruined his draft. Thats a personal thing to come out. I dont know if he is planning on using this fiasco to boost his stock but its backfired and hes drawn attention to himself. Regardless hes done even before the draft.

    If anyone drafts him its for publicity

  12. That’s the man’s son! Who are you to judge what he’s feeling DAYS after being told the news via TEXT? You can have your views on issues and that’s fine but don’t sit around and preach tolerance and then judge a man you’ve never met! The news shouldn’t even be printing this story, this should have remained a PRIVATE discussion between father and son. But I guess people who have an agenda don’t care about people’s privacy, only putting whatever story will get THEM attention. SMH. Let’s talk FOOTBALL on this site and leave the political and personal agendas to other sites!

  13. I’m disgusted that this is still an issue. Why is this dominating the headlines? I’m from “old school”, too, but I would still love my child and support him/her if they told me they were gay – not run to the nearest bar to booze it up and make it all about me. And to this father who took his son to Mexico to lose his virginity: I find you very disgusting. What the hec kind of parent are you, anyway?

  14. What a piece of work this guy is. I bet if Sam Jr makes mega millions during his career his dad will benefit greatly to try to win his approval. I would cut this guy out if I was Sam Jr.

  15. Listen this is real world and this father just learned something about his son that was obviously shocking and hard to accept. I don’t care about it is not 1963 it’s 2014 no father grows up hoping his son is gay. Give him time and let him come to grips with it. I’m sure at the end of the day he still loves his son. There is a difference in accepting and supporting someone hopefully people who don’t support him can accept him and hopefully he can accept people who don’t support that lifestyle as long as they accept him.

  16. “To illustrate the point, Sam Sr. said he took one of his older sons to Mexico so that he could lose his virginity.”

    If that’s what passes for a great dad, I’m glad I grew up without one.

  17. Wow. Makes Sam look even braver to come out when your own douche of a father doesn’t even have your back. He’s old school! Lol. No you’re a douche.

  18. Since he came out to the father in a text message, Sam probably had a pretty good idea about how his father would react.

  19. WTH ?? Listen, Im not a fan of same sex relationships, however I would never question my sons decisions as a man. But I would NEVER take my kid to Mexico to lose his virginity !!!!!! Lol, sounds like this dad needs a father son lesson… Good luck Sam jr. !!

  20. Just because the media and society pushes that being gay is ok does not mean that it is. Its not meant to be if it was then men could also have babies and 2 roasters could lay an egg but its not natural so Hollywood , society and the media can shove it up there *ss (no point entended)

  21. You know, it is possible to “accept” someone’s life choices without actually “supporting” them. Doesn’t make him a bigot, as i’m sure there are infinitely more people who feel the exact same way.

  22. What the father really meant to say was “Son, I love you and want the best for you. Your sexual preference makes no difference to me who you are as a person because as my love for my children is unconditional. I just don’t want to see you get hurt and be carefull”. Or words to that effect.

  23. My father was “old school” about it too when my younger brother came out years ago….he eventually came around and accepted my brother for who he is….his fathers son…..

  24. The kid has made something of himself inspite of his father not, because of him. Hopefully he doesnt allow his fathers words to effect him

  25. Maybe we should praise his Father for his honest reaction to the news. It shouldn’t a crime nor a social black eye to feel this lifestyle is wrong.

  26. So the player comes out to his college teammates but doesn’t tell his own father until last week, right before telling the entire planet? Something strange here.

  27. coltsreign says:

    Plus lets face it, he ruined his draft. Thats a personal thing to come out. I dont know if he is planning on using this fiasco to boost his stock but its backfired and hes drawn attention to himself.

    His agent said he did not want to come out until after the draft. Teams started asking and the media wanted to break it so he was forced to do it now. I believe PFT left this story alone. The only question is will the players who share the views of his father be tarred and feathered by the media? Well, we know the answer to that one. It has to be crushing knowing you will never have a daughter in law and grandkids.

  28. Its stories like these that make me so thankful that at age 25, i can say my father is the greatest, most influential, and most respectable man I have ever met.

    Im not gay but I have no doubt in my mind my dad would hug me and be proud of me if I was and came out like Sam did

  29. Yea, Florio, bend over backwards to support gay players, carry banner to ban Redskin name – while sticking it to Christian Tim Tebow at every turn.
    You are so left-wing politically correct you make Obama look like a right winger.

  30. Nothing makes me more sympathetic to this Sam kid than this story. I’m npw pulling for the kid, where I was indifferent before reading this.

    Good luck, Mr. Sam.

  31. given sam jr’s family background and his siblings’ gang involvement and legal troubles, it doesn’t sound like sam sr. was much of a father figure. he’s worried about his grandkids growing up in “that kind of environment”, meanwhile he let his own children grow up in a much worse one.

  32. Those who agree with the son – tolerant progressives.
    Those who agree with the father – bigots.
    That’s the new America people, ain’t it great?

  33. I think his father’s reaction should tell you everything you need to know about why he told him in that way. I’d do the same thing.

  34. Mr Sam is allowed his opinions but in this case he should have said so much because he sounds ignorant. He should have said I don’t agree with my son’s lifestyle but I love him and support him. Also what makes him think Deacon Jones would have a problem with a openly gay man playing in the NFL?

  35. A couple of thoughts…..
    #1 What a shame that Sam’s father not only rejects who he. Is in private, but did it publicly as well. Granted, telling his dad in a text message may not have been the best way to do it. However, none of us know what the father-son relationship is like or their history.
    #2 I understand how some players will feel uncomfortable sharing the locker room with a gay man. But chances are, they’ve been doing that unknowingly. There ARE ALREADY gay football players in the NFL. Believe me, Sam will go out of his way to avoid looking at his teammates while they’re naked to avoid any problems or misunderstandings.
    #3 Some players’ religious beliefs are not exactly positive towards gay people. Probably some players’ religious beliefs are also against drinking and partying, and there’s plenty of that going on. And I doubt they ostracized those teammates. If they don’t agree with Sam being gay, no one is forcing them to hang out in gay bars with him or to have any social interaction away from football. Players who are uncomfortable with Sam need to get over it and act like professionals. Most of us have had to work with people we don’t like.
    #4 This is a big deal, and we will become sick of all the media coverage. It’s a big deal because there’s never been an openly gay active NFL player. There was the same type of media coverage when Jackie Robinson entered Major League Baseball.
    #5 Will Sam be a distraction? Of course he will, in the beginning. It will be a huge story on draft day. It will be a big deal during training camp. But the newness will wear off and he’ll be just another football player. Some team will give this young man a chance to play. Just like Robinson was given a chance, even though he was a huge distraction.

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