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Michael Sam Wants To Be Known For Football

by Allen K
Feb 23, 2014 4:17 PM EST



Michael Sam spoke with the media at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, and he made it clear that he wants to be known for his abilities as a player and not as the first openly gay player to play in the NFL.

“Oh, heck yeah, I wish you guys were just saying, ‘Hey, Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?’ I would love if you'd ask me that question,” Sam said. “But it is what it is. I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, not Michael Sam the gay football player.”

Sam said that he has not heard any questions from NFL teams regarding his sexual orientation, but there have been questions regarding his size. The 6-2, 255-pound defensive end is considered to be a tweener, with some projecting him as a defensive end and others as an outside linebacker.

“I’m a pass-rusher,” he said. “If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback.

“I want to play whoever picks me up as a defensive end or an outside linebacker to rush that passer. That's what I do best.”

Sam had 11.5 sacks last season, which earned him the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, and he has 20 total sacks over his college career. While many have spoken out in support of Sam and claim his orientation will have no bearing on their decision to draft him, his size could cause his draft stock to drop.