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5 Things You Need to Know about Michael Sam

Michael Sam

Feb. 10 2014, Published 4:31 p.m. ET

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Michael Sam, a football player at the University of Missouri, publicly announced he is gay in an interview with ESPN. Since he's a favorite for the NFL draft, it's possible that Sam will wind up being the first openly gay football player in NFL history. What else should you know about this talented player? Read on!

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1. Michael Sam was out to his teammates, and no one leaked that info publicly until he decided to discuss in the media. He says his teammates have been very supportive and were just glad he discussed it. They voted him the Most Valuable Player on the team in December.

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2. Per the New York Times, there are currently no openly gay active players in the NFL, the NBA, NHL, or MLB.

3. As the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam will be probably be an early draft pick for the NFL come May.

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4. Sam had a very difficult childhood. Two of his siblings have died (one due to a gunshot wound), two are currently in jail, and one brother has been missing since the '90s. He told ESPN, "Telling the world I'm gay is nothing compared to that."

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5. He consulted with another publicly gay athlete,  NBA player Jason Collins, before making this announcement.

What do you think of Michael Sam's announcement? Do you think it will help or hurt his career? Do you think of football as being bigoted? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.

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