Michael Sam's father's reaction to his son being gay is probably a good example of why it's hard for anyone to come out to family and friends.
In an interview with the New York Times, Michael Sam Sr. admitted he's struggling with the news that his son is gay, something Sam announced publicly on Sunday. The story even said that Sam Sr. is uncomfortable with the idea of a gay NFL player. The first openly gay NFL player will be his son, of course, assuming he makes a team this summer.
Sam Sr. reportedly said that Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones “is turning over in his grave" at the idea.
The Times painted a picture of a hard upbringing for Sam and a complicated family life in which he's closer to his friends than his family. He told his Missouri teammates before the season he was gay. His father didn't find out until last Tuesday when he got a text during a birthday meal at Denny's.
“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. told the Times. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.
“I’m old-school. I’m a man and a woman type of guy.”
The story did say that Sam Sr. loves his son and expressed that he hopes he makes it in the NFL. And his uneasiness didn't come through in another interview, with Fox Sports, in which he said, ”I was shocked. I’m proud of him. He’s my son.”
The interview with the Times goes to show that Sam's decision to announce he is gay has many more ramifications for him than just what NFL teams think of it.
- - - - - - -