US footballer comes out at start of career
US college football player Michael Sam last week became the first athlete in a major American professional team sport to come out as gay at the beginning of his career.
“I'm comfortable with who I am. I probably may be the first but I won't be the last and I think only good things are going to come from this,” Sam said.
“I don't think I should be defined as Michael Sam, the gay athlete, the gay football player. I want to be defined Michael Sam, for being a great person and having great character,” he added.
The 24-year-old, African-American player is expected to be selected in the NFL draft in May. If selected Sam will become the first openly gay player to compete in the four major US professional sports of football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. Other athletes have only come out after retiring.
Sam made the announcement after NFL scouts questioned his sexual orientation but, following it the NFL and the University of Missouri, where Sam plays, have congratulated him.
First Lady, Michelle Obama also congratulated Sam, calling him an “inspiration” for his courage on and off the field.