Rams defensive end Michael Sam thinks he’s landed in the right place.
Sam, who became the NFL’s first openly gay player when he was drafted by the Rams on Saturday, was formally introduced at a press conference in St. Louis today. Sam thanked Rams coach Jeff Fisher, owner Stan Kroenke and General Manager Les Snead for bringing him to the team.
“I’m blessed,” Sam said. “I want to thank my head coach, Coach Fisher, and Mr. Kroenke and Mr. Snead, for giving me the opportunity to play here.”
Fisher explained that it won’t be easy for Sam to make the team, noting that the Rams are already strong at defensive end. But Fisher said that “Michael’s value as a football player is off the charts, so he has an opportunity now to compete to try to make our football team.”
As a seventh-round pick, Sam is no lock to make the roster, but he said he believes he has what it takes.
“I’m determined to be great. I want to train hard and try to make the team,” Sam said. “All my focus is on trying to make the team.”
Even if he doesn’t make the Rams’ roster for the regular season, Sam has already become a role model for young people, and he takes that seriously, wanting kids to know that they can be proud of who they are.
“It’s OK to be who you are,” Sam said. “Whether you’re gay, straight, black or white, it’s OK to be comfortable in your own skin.”
Michael Sam looked comfortable in his own skin today, and proud to be a St. Louis Ram.