The father of NFL hopeful Michael Sam has expressed displeasure about his son’s coming out, saying “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.”
The Missouri All American player came out as gay in interviews on Sunday followed by an influx of support, including from US First Lady Michelle Obama, who tweeted to say she was “proud” of his achievements both on and off the field.
However, his father has since admitted he is struggling to accept the news.
Michael Sam Sr spoke to the New York Times recently, saying he was initially informed by text a few days before his son went public.
“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” he said.
“I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment. I’m old school. I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.
“As a black man, we have so many hurdles to cross. This is just one he has to cross.”
He also said that Deacon Jones, a Hall of Fame defensive player, would be “turning over in his grave” at the thought of an openly gay NFL player.
US radio host Michael Brown also recently said it was “selfish” for Sam to come out. “Since NFL players are hardly known for their sexual purity – with many notable exceptions – is it homophobic to think that Sam’s hormones might be raging for men the way the other players’ hormones rage for women?”