University of Missouri Lineman Michael Sam Comes Out Before NFL Draft

Missouri defensive lineman was unanimous All-America.

Feb. 9, 2014— -- Michael Sam, a University of Missouri all America defensive lineman expected to be drafted into the NFL, today told ESPN's Chris Connelly that he is gay.

"I came to tell the world that I'm an openly, proud gay man," Sam said today in interviews with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and the New York Times.

If he is drafted -- and he was expected to be -- he would be the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Though he said he had previously told his teammates on the Tigers, he wanted to control the way the story was spread.

"I want to own my truth," he told Connelly. "Two weeks ago at The Senior Bowl I didn't realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me or tell a story. I just wanted to control the situation and tell my story."