Before coming out as a homosexual man over the weekend, former Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam let his father know the news. Sam’s father, Michael Sam Sr., told The New York Times that his son informed him of a news in a short text message that was right to the point, “Dad, I’m gay.”
Sam Sr. said that he was struggling with the news after first learning and that he left dinner to deal with the news.
“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment. “As a black man, we have so many hurdles to cross. This is just one he has to cross.”
Sam’s father, who describes himself as “old-school,” said that a gay player being in the NFL bothers him and he believes that players like the legendary Deacon Jones are “turning over in [their] grave.”
Sam Sr. will have to learn to accept the news and respect his son for having the courage to come out as the man that he is, as will whatever NFL locker room welcomes Sam as a rookie.
Hopefully they can all learn from Sam’s Missouri teammates who were able to accept the news in stride and respect the player for the person that he is.