Western welcomes Michael Sam

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Michael Sam will be coming to Missouri Western State University on Thursday Oct. 13 as part of his Standing in Your Truth lecture. He will be speaking in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101.

Sam was born in Hitchcock, Texas., on January 7, 1990. Sam is one of eight children; all of whom dealt with a troubling childhood. Sam watched three of his siblings killed and watched two go to prison.

Sam excelled in football and signed with the University of Missouri in 2009. Sam played defensive end for the Tigers from 2010-2013. It was in college that Sam realzied that his attraction for men was not going away–it was then that he started dating a memeber of the MU swim team. During his senior year, the MU coaching staff asked each member of the team to reviel something about themselves–it was then that he informed the team of his orientation.

Sam’s senior year at Missouri was his best season, compiling 11.5 sacks and was named the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the Year and an All-American.

Sam and the Missouri football team kept his orientation to themselves, it was in an interview in the fall of 2014 that he revealed to the world his sexual orientation. Sam became the first openly gay athlete to be active in any of the four major sports.

There were other athletes who admitted to being homosexual after retirement, but Sam became the first NFL player to do so while still actively playing. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the draft, but was eventually cut by the team. Sam then spent some time with the Dallas Cowboys, but was waved in Oct. 2014.

Sam was named the GQ 2014 Man of the Year and participated in Dancing with the Stars in 2015. Sam has not played football since playing with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in 2015.