Michael Sam’s announcement that he’s gay mostly has been met with positive responses. The former University of Missouri star knew he’d receive some backlash for his public declaration, but some harsh comments are coming from an unlikely source: Sam’s father.
According to the New York Times, Michael Sam Sr. learned just last week what his son’s teammates at Mizzou had known since August. Sam sent his father a text that said, “Dad, I’m gay.” Sam Sr. was eating at a Denny’s restaurant when he received the news, but he told the Times he was so distraught that he had to leave.
“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. added that he’s “old school,” a “man and a woman kind of guy,” and the idea of a gay player in the NFL, even if it’s his own son, makes him uncomfortable. Sam Sr., who learned the news five days before his son’s announcement, was still struggling with it Sunday, but he did tell the newspaper that he loves his son and he hopes he makes it to the NFL.
Sam led the SEC with 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss last season, but he’s projected to be a mid-round pick in May’s NFL draft.