Out NFL player Michael Sam: My career could have gone better if I’d never come out

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The first openly gay NFL player, Michael Sam, has admitted his career might have gone better if he had stayed in the closet.

Sam became the first openly gay player in NFL history when he came out as gay last year – and has since had brief spells with the NFL’s St Louis Rams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.

However, he crashed out of the sport last month citing mental health issues, and has since re-enrolled in school.

Sam has now made a sad admission – that things might have gone better if he had just stayed in the closet.

He told NBCSN talk show host Dan Patrick: “I wanted to come out after I made an NFL roster, it really wasn’t supposed to be public. It was just supposed to be to the team, as I did at the University of Missouri.

“I’m not going to say [if it impacted my career]. But it probably would have been better for me if I didn’t come out. I would be on a roster.

“But, as I said, I have no regrets whatsoever.”

He added that he came out publicly partly because reporters were already aware of his sexuality, from his time at university, and that he feared it may be leaked.

The player added: “I wanted to be the one to tell my own story. I didn’t want someone to tell it for me.”

The defensive player previously indicated he would step away from sport for now, though he plans to return in the future.

He tweeted: “So I got admitted to University Of Missouri Grad program this week.”

Michael Sam CRED FB

“I enrolled in Grad school this Fall to further my education, while I train to get back to football!!!”

Speaking about his reasons for quitting previously, he said: “The last 12 months have become very difficult for me to the point where I became concerned for my mental health.

“Because of this, I am going to step away from the game at this time. I thank the Alouettes for this opportunity and hope to be back on the field soon.

“Thank you all for your understanding and support.”

Watch the interview below: