Michael Sam: Coming out ruined my career in the NFL (LISTEN)
The sports says being honest about his sexuality has destroyed his career.
Sam – a former defensive tackle – was the first out gay player to be drafted to an NFL team in 2014 and has since had brief spells with the NFL’s St Louis Rams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
Despite his earlier success, he crashed out of the sport citing mental health issues.
However, he now claims that his career was severely damaged by his decision to come out as gay in 2013.
“I think if I never would have came out, never would have said those words out to the public, I would still be currently in the NFL,” he said in a recent interview with Edge of Sports.
“But because of me saying those words, I think it could have played a huge part in my current situation.”
Critics have been quick to discredit the star’s claims – with some insisting that the only reason he was ever drafted into the league was because of his sexuality.
“Michael Sam was a stunt by the NFL. It was a play to the politically correct crowd,” claims Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock.
“The guy’s too short, not fast enough off the ball, he’s not an NFL player, and I think people did the homework on him and said, ‘You know what, I don’t know if he really, really loves the game.’”
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Sam, unsurprisingly, disagrees with his doubters.
“I know how to play this game, I can play this game,” he said later in the interview.
“I don’t know what goes on in the NFL with the guys who are making the decisions, but whatever it is, hopefully it’s not what I think it is.”
This is not the first time the sports star has discussed discrimination, after recently saying he had experienced high levels of racism in the gay community since coming out.
Listen to his interview below: