American football player Michael Sam has revealed that if he had a choice he wouldn’t have come out the way he did.
In an interview with GQ, as one of the magazine’s ‘men of the year’, the 24-year-old said that he would have preferred to have only come out to his team-mates.
“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,” Sam commented.
He explained that after he came out to his team and coaches, the news quickly spread to recruiters and reporters, leading him to plan his coming out to the rest of the world through the media in February.
“Someone was gonna ask me, ‘I heard you told your team a secret.…’ Well, I was comfortable with who I was, and I wouldn’t have denied it. And then I wouldn’t have been able to control the story,” Sam said.
He added: “But I have no regrets.” The athlete also expressed his surprise that other football players didn’t come out after he did, adding that “it will” happen.
While Sam remains without a team for now, the impact of his coming out in the traditionally homophobic and macho American football world has been huge.
He was lauded by the likes of President Obama and has used numerous opportunities to speak out for LGBT equality and to share his experiences with the public.
“…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,” Sam told GQ.