Gay NFL star Michael Sam has said that he has received criticism – because his fiancé is white.

Sam – who has had brief spells with the St Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys – made history as the first openly gay NFL player, though he is yet to play an on-season game.

He got engaged to partner Vito Cammisano in January, during a trip to Italy.

Speaking to students at the private Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, Sam revealed that he has received criticism for getting engaged to Cammisano,

According to the QU Chronicle, he said: “My fiance gave me the strength [to come out]… The challenge I get now is, why are you not dating a gay black guy? Why are you dating a white guy?

“Why would I do that? Why would I leave someone I fell in love with and have been through so many challenges with.”

The NFL star also re-asserted his claim that there are many players in the closet, adding: “I’m just gonna say I’m not the only one in the NFL that is gay, I’m just the only one that is out.

“They want to protect their livelihood… but there will be a time [when they come out]. There’s going to be a day.”

Of his time in the NFL, he said: “I thought I did enough in the preseason (last season), but apparently it wasn’t enough.

“I just have to work harder. I’m certain, whatever league I’m playing in, that I’m going to be playing football somewhere next year.”

“I’ve fought adversity all my life. It helped me become me.”