Sam stands tall at Combine

Michael Sam

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WIVB) – Michael Sam stepped up to the podium with a smile today at the NFL Combine.

Sam, who will become the NFL’s first openly gay player, said he hasn’t paid much attention to what’s become a national story. Instead, he’s simply focused on football.

“Oh heck yeah I wish you could would say, ‘Hey Michael Sam, how’s football going? How’s training going?’ I would love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is,” said Sam. “I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam, the gay football player.”

Sam projects as a defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL. When asked which is his true position, he simply called himself a pass rusher.

Still, much of the press conference today was about Sam’s decision to be open about his sexuality. When the topic of name-calling or slurs came up, he said he can handle it.

“I’ve been in locker rooms that all kinds of slurs have been said, and I don’t think anyone means it,” said Sam. “A little naïve and uneducated, but as time goes on everyone will adapt.”

“I got a lot of support out there,” said Sam. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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