Michael Sam made history in 2014 when he became the first out American footballer to be drafted by the National Football League (NFL).
Although he’s known rocky times since coming out as gay, Sam has managed to stay on everyone’s mind, appearing on the cover of GQ and in Dancing With The Stars. This month, the athlete covers UK’s Attitude in their latest May issue, and gives a heartfelt interview on these ups and downs.
In his cover story, the 26-year-old makes it clear that if he had the choice again, he’d do it all over again.
“I wouldn’t say it was a storm because to me storms are bad. I helped a lot of people,” he tells Attitude. “I was so naive when I came out. I wasn’t thinking about anybody else trying to be an inspiration or advocate or activist, whatever, I wasn’t trying to be anything but just to get that over with so I could stop focusing on me.”
“Then I started reading things that was going around, from people: emails, letters, Tweets, messages, everything – they were more positive than negative. ‘People said oh my god I just can’t believe you had the courage to do that’. I said, ‘I’m just living my life’…So many young people who were scared to tell their parents, they were athletes themselves: [they wrote that] you gave me the courage to come out myself. You know, it was amazing… If by me living my life, I can save someone, I would do it again.”
Sam appears in an exclusive 10-page editorial spread, in which he discusses everything from his experience growing up gay as a Jehovah’s Witness to the racism he’s been confronted with from within the gay community itself.