This College Football Star Could Be the First Openly Gay NFL Player

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Michael Sam

A college football star, poised to become an early NFL draft pick in May, announced Sunday that he’s gay and proud of it.

Michael Sam, coming off an All-American season as a defensive lineman for the University of Missouri Tigers, said he knows well that coming clean about his sexual orientation is a “big deal.”

“I am an openly, proud gay man,” Sam, 24, last year’s Southeast Conference defensive player of the year, said in interviews with ESPN and the New York Times.

Projected by some to be taken in the early rounds of the NFL draft this summer, Sam would become the first openly gay professional football player.

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