NFL Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay

John Branch, reporting for The New York Times:

As the pace of the gay rights movement has accelerated in recent years, the sports industry has changed relatively little for men, with no publicly gay athletes in the N.F.L., the N.B.A., the N.H.L. or Major League Baseball. Against this backdrop, Mr. Sam could become a symbol for the country’s gay rights movement or a flash point in a football culture war — or both.

Mr. Sam, 24, is projected to be chosen in the early rounds of the N.F.L. draft in May, ordinarily an invitation to a prosperous pro career. He said he decided to come out publicly now because he sensed that rumors were circulating.

“I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it,” said Mr. Sam, who also spoke with ESPN on Sunday. “I just want to own my truth.”

Love this line, from Outsports:

Asked if he was nervous about the step he is taking, Sam told people at a Saturday night dinner party at the Los Angeles home of publicist Howard Bragman: “You all are the ones who are nervous. I’m excited.”

I think we’ll see this more and more from young players, in all sports. They’ve grown up in a different and more accepting world. Today, we rightly celebrate this as a big deal. Soon (but not soon enough), it won’t be a deal at all.

Sunday, 9 February 2014