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Michael Sam: I was going to come out after the Draft

Michael Sam

Michael Sam is the first openly gay player in the NFL, and the St. Louis Rams made history by selecting Sam in the 7th round in the 2014 NFL Draft. As Sam’s announcement and decision to come out about his sexuality made worldwide headlines, in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE MagazineSam says the timing of his announcement isn’t when he actually wanted to do it.

“When I came out in February, it actually wasn’t the time I wanted to come out. I was going to come out to my [pro] team – whoever drafted me”

While everyone was shocked at this announcement, Sam’s teammates at Missouri already knew, and even some of the media knew about his sexuality.

They knew they could tell whoever they wanted to, but they didn’t, they kept it secret. They didn’t have to. I was out. I did my own thing. I had my boyfriend.”-Sam on Missouri teammates

“When I came out in February, I did it because when I participated in the Senior Bowl, I was surprised how many people in the media knew. Everyone who did an interview with me said, ‘Okay, we know you’re gay, can we break the story?’ So I said okay, and I called my agent,” he said. “The rest is history.” -Sam on timing of announcement

Comfortable with being himself, Sam says he’s felt the attraction since 7th grade.

“I always knew I was different. I knew I had a male attraction probably in 7th grade, but I didn’t act upon it. I didn’t act upon it in high school. But college was different. College is all about experimenting. I did, and then I was like, ‘This is who I am.’ ” 

Sam’s Rams jersey is currently No.2 among all NFL rookies, but he’ll face plenty of adversity on the football field, as he fights to make the Rams’ roster. Now one must wonder, if Sam would’ve came out after the NFL Draft, would he have been drafted sooner, and what would have been the league-wide and national-wide response to it?

PEOPLE MAGAZINE’s full exclusive interview.

Follow Mike Pendleton on Twitter @MP2310

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Photo credit: (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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