Michael Sam on Jon Gruden's homophobic emails: 'Unfortunate' it happened on same team as Carl Nassib
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, addressed the homophobic emails Jon Gruden wrote and surfaced publicly before Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.
In one of Grudens' emails - which also contained misogynist and racist language - he used a homophobic term when referring to Sam, who was from then St. Louis Rams in 2014.
"It is unfortunate," said Sam on Wednesday during a webinar hosted by Augusta (Ill.) College, "especially that the first active gay player to play is on the same team."
Sam was referring to Carl Nassib, a defensive ending for the Raiders who is the first openly gay active NFL player. Sam does not have an active NFL list.
After Nassib publicly announced he was gay in June, Gruden told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "I learned a long time ago that what makes a man different is what makes him great."
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Michael Sam was a Rams seventh round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
But Sam, speaking at an event billed as "Brave Talking to Michael Sam" and making his first public comments on Gruden's emails, said it almost seems like it's just for the show. So are you really a part of it or not?
"It's moving in that direction (of acceptance), so if you're not part of it, you have to find another profession."
Nassib was excused from team activities by the Raiders on Wednesday after requesting a personal day, said Raiders chief executive Mike Mayock.
Sam, who played in Missouri and was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, said there are secret gay players in the NFL.
"I know guys who struggle in the NFL and are unable to get out," he said.
When asked how he hopes the NFL would respond to Gruden's emails, Sam replied, "They will definitely take action against such bigotry."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael Sam replies to Jon Gruden's homophobic emails
In this article:
Las Vegas Raiders
American football coach
American soccer player (1993-)
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