Michael Sam may not be in the NFL anymore, but he still rates as one of GQ's Men of the Year, posing for Peggy Sirota for the cover.
He says he wants to be a distraction based on his performance in sports, but knocks those who focus on his sexual orientation as being somehow other, saying of them, “Gotta keep bringing up the locker-room situation because he’s gay.”
Sam goes on to tell Andrew Corsello that his coming out story might have been different had he felt he had more of a choice:
“If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did, never would have told it the way I did. But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn’t have the year I did, nobody would have cared. But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason. It looks good to see me in the position I’m in now, because I can show the world how good I am and rise up the ranks. I’m at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I’m a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player.”
He also talks about his troubled childhood:
“Only a handful of people really know how I was raised. Certain family members weren’t…there. They were ghosts. My brothers were the ones who were there. Most of the time, that was scary. I tried to stay away as much as possible. We called the cops on my brothers so many times I can’t even count. Not only for hurting me. They’d abuse my sisters. Verbally abuse my mom. My brothers were evil people. I don’t have a relationship with them now. They’ve both written me letters from prison. For them to dare to call themselves my brothers—I can’t live with that.”
This issue of GQ hits newsstands November 25.