One of the most remarkable parts of the Michael Sam story is that he played a whole season with the team after coming out and it never leaked. Another college player has come out and shared his story of being gay during his collegiate career, Nebraska kicker Eric Lueshen who played with the team from 2004-05.
He said all the coaches and players knew, and that some coaches acted differently making him feel unwelcome through their body language. Head coach Bill Callahan wasn’t one of those people at the time.
“I’ll never forget the day that I went into Coach Callahan’s offense, telling him, ‘My career has ended. I have to have a spinal fusion,’ ” Lueshen said, via the Dallas Morning News. “That was a very hard, emotional time for me and thing to say to him because as a kid and growing up you want to go on, you want to play in the NFL, you want to live your dream. And so I was getting emotional but at the same time, Coach Callahan was sitting there getting emotional with me. I’d see a tear in his eye. That made me really feel welcome and I’d put my stamp on Nebraska football and Nebraska athletics not only as the first openly gay athlete but as an athlete and a good individual and someone that was respected and loved.”
“I would say he was accepting of me,” Lueshen later added in regard to Callahan. “I know the conversations I’ve had with him how much he respected me as a person. He told me that a few times.”