Rams' Sam exudes confidence in first public appearance


by Brian Feldman / FootballSTL


Posted on May 13, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 8:18 AM

How did you feel about Michael Sam's televised reaction to being draft?

(FootballStL) - With a determined look on his face, Michael Sam took on the world Tuesday with virtually every question thrown at him revolving around what he does off the field more than what he does on it.

Sam, the first openly gay NFL draft pick in history, appeared in a white Rams polo shirt flanked by head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead.

He refuses to let the attention to his personal life affect his true goal.

"I'm determined to be great," Sam claims.

​The former Mizzou Tiger understands why everyone in the country is so interested in his story.  He gets that what he's doing is historic.  

But he also doesn't care much for the narrative either.​

"I have every confidence in myself that I will make this team," Sam said. "So when I do make it, and I put my pads on, if someone wants to say something (derogatory) then you will see #96 running down that field and making big plays for this team."

Sam knew going into the draft his personal life would play a big role, fair or not, in what team he ended up going to.  He interviewed with teams at the combine in February and worked out privately for others.

And he has no regrets with how he went through the process of getting ready for the draft.

"I wouldn't do a thing differently. I waited and I waited and I waited (to be drafted) and I said long ago whatever team took me they knew about my sexuality and they knew everything about my past and that's the team I want to play for."

Being a modern day Jackie Robinson is something Sam embraces.  He's well aware others around the country have been inspired enough by the defensive end to tell their family they're gay.

It's easy for others because clearly they don't have to go through all the torment Michael Sam may or may not have to go through as a player in the NFL.

That just goes to show how much courage the former Tiger has.  

"I always had it," Sam said. "This is just me.  This is Michael Sam.  You got the real deal."