Reports: Missouri All-American says he is gay

Reports: Missouri All-American says he is gay

February 9th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

North outside linebacker Michael Sam (55) of Missouri runs on to the field before the Senior Bowl NCAA game in Mobile, Ala. in this Jan. 25, 2014, file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.

In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.

Sam says: "I am an openly, proud gay man."

The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick.

He says: "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."