Michael Sam Says He's Been Told He's Not Gay Or Black Enough

Still, he has no regrets about his coming out journey.
The 26-year-old athlete said he's been the victim of "terrible" racism in the gay community.
The 26-year-old athlete said he's been the victim of "terrible" racism in the gay community.
USA Today Sports / Reuters

Nearly two years since he became the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, Michael Sam continues to make headlines.

The 26-year-old athlete got candid in a new interview with Attitude magazine, saying he's been the victim of "terrible" racism within the gay community.

"People have told me I’m not gay enough, people have told me I’m not black enough. I don’t know what that means," Sam told the magazine. "You want to be accepted by other people but you don’t even accept someone just because of the color of their skin? I just don’t understand that at all."

On the flip side, he said that he's had a "more accepting" experience in the black community.

"There are a lot of black, openly gay people. A lot of people have [gay] friends, cousins, brothers, sisters," he said. "People tell me they have family members who are gay and it doesn’t freak them out and no black person ever freaked out at me, 'Oh you’re gay.' None."

When Sam looked back on his own coming out journey, however, he had no regrets whatsoever.

"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," he said. "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.'"

The new interview follows reports that the Los Angeles Rams (who were then based in St. Louis, Missouri) only chose to draft Sam in 2014 as part of a deal which would allow them to opt out of HBO's sports documentary series, "Hard Knocks."

Sam responded to the report on Twitter.

On March 24, however, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher dismissed those reports as "100 percent incorrect" and "insulting," according to CBS New York.

The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year stepped away from football last year, but has said he hopes to give the NFL "one more shot." Here's to hoping!

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