Michael Sam Is Ready to Talk Football

“I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player,” he said Saturday.

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University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday. 

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the University of Missouri’s hot NFL prospect Michael Sam announced recently that he was gay, it was all anyone wanted to talk to him about. Now, days after the announcement, it’s still all anyone wants to discuss. But he’s ready to talk football, according to the Huffington Post.

"I wish you’d say, ‘Hey Michael Sam, how’s football going? How’s training going?’ I’d love for you to ask me that question," Sam said when asked if he wished his sexual orientation wasn't a major story, the news site reports. "But it is what it is. I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

The Mizzou defensive lineman spoke Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis during what may have been the largest crowd ever for an individual player press conference at the annual NFL Combine, the report says.

Sam, 24, a native of Hitchcock, Texas, who could become the first openly gay player in NFL history, did get a chance to discuss football. During a more than 10-minute Q-and-A session, according to the Post, the SEC's 2013 co-defensive player of the year spoke about his ability to play either defensive end or outside linebacker.

But the overwhelming majority of questions were about his decision to come out, the site says, his experience with teammates in college and how he might handle certain situations in an NFL locker room. 

“Everyone could be normal around me,” Sam told the press when asked about the atmosphere in the Mizzou locker room. “If they wanted to we would joke around, because it’s a brotherhood and it’s a family. We can say things to each other, and there’s no harm. We don’t draw blood. It’s all fun and games.”

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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