While Michael Sam has mostly received an outpouring of support since announcing that he is gay, his father is struggling with the news, according to a published report. Sam revealed to his Missouri teammates he is gay last August, but he didn't disclose his sexual orientation to his parents until last week. He said Sunday in interviews with ESPN's "Outside The Lines" and The New York Times that he is gay.
Michael Sam Sr. told The New York Times that he received the news last Tuesday when his son wrote in a text: "Dad, I'm gay." Sam's father took the news hard. He said he was eating at a Denny's restaurant but had to leave after receiving the text. "I couldn't eat no more, so I went to Applebee's to have drinks," Sam Sr. told the newspaper. "I don't want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment."
Sam Sr., who described himself as "old-school," told the newspaper the idea of a gay player in the NFL bothers him, even when that person could be his own son. He told the newspaper that late Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome who is credited with terming the word sack, "is turning over in his grave."
He told the newspaper, however, that he loves his son and hopes he makes it into the NFL. "As a Black man, we have so many hurdles to cross. This is just one he has to cross," Sam Sr. told The Times.