You’d think that being chosen for the cover of GQ as part of its annual Men of the Year issue would be a time of celebration.
But former Missouri football star Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player chosen in the NFL draft, talked about some dark times in his life, particularly about growing up in Hancock, Texas. (Please note there is language that some may find offensive)
“We called the cops on my brothers so many times I can’t even count,” Sam told the magazine. “Not only for hurting me. They’d abuse my sisters. Verbally abuse my mom. Call me that word (faggot), although they meant ‘scared,’ ‘sissy,’ not ‘gay.’ Our house was…strangers showing up, coming in. When I was a kid, I had no idea what they were doing. Now I know.
“My brothers were evil people. I don’t have a relationship with them now. They’ve both written me letters from prison. People tell me I need to forgive. I will learn to forgive them. I will love them from a distance, just like I love my dad from a distance. But I will never have a special relationship with them. What I went through was scary. For them to dare to call themselves my brothers—I can’t live with that.”
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Sam said football proved to be a sanctuary.
“Being with the guys on the team at Hitchcock was my real family. Mizzou was my real family. I loved it. Football was a sense of home. A home I never had.”
You can read the entire GQ interview here.
To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff