As the 2014 NFL draft went into its third and final day, Michael Sam says he was afraid his decision to come out publicly would mean he'd never hear his name called.
The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year admits he feared his sexuality would stop him from achieving his dream of playing professional football during an interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts.
"I was kind of second-guessing myself, whether, you know, maybe football turned its back on me," Sam says. "I was like, 'Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did.'"
"You mean coming out publicly?" Roberts asks.
"Exactly," Sam says.
Sam was probably right to think some teams would reject signing the first out gay man in football, though he consistently kept his "It's their loss" attitude during the draft. This week, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam.
"I wouldn't have taken him," Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but because I wouldn't want to deal with all of it. It's not going to be totally smooth...things will happen."
After two days, seven rounds and 248 drafts, the St. Louis Rams chose Sam to join its 2014 rookie class.
"I had so many emotions going in my head," Sam says, "and then I felt a touch over my shoulder and it was Vito" Cammisano, his boyfriend. That's when the two shared an excited kiss that rocked the sports world.
"I was like, 'I don't care what happens,'" Sam says. "I know I did the right thing in my heart, and whatever happens, happens. I'm just going to move forward."
With the draft behind him, Sam says he's focused on training camp and has already lost twelve pounds.
"I'm just so excited to finally get the opportunity to do what I love," he tells Roberts. "Not a lot of people can say that."
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