Sports
6:56 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

MU football coach: Sam has support of teammates, coaches

MU head coach Gary Pinkel says he's proud of the courage Michael Sam had when coming out as gay.
Credit Karen Mitchell

National Football League prospect Michael Sam publicly came out over the weekend. Although some critics have expressed concern about the league being ready for a publicly gay player, Sam’s former college coach says he hopes Sam’s new team treats him like his college team.  

University of Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel says he’s proud of the courage Sam has shown by announcing he’s gay. Sam is an all-American and co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

Pinkel says Sam has overwhelming support from his coaches and teammates because the team emphasizes respect for diversity.

“If you’re part of our family and part of our football team we are going to be respectful of the differences amongst us and embrace and support each other," he says.

Pinkel says he hopes Sam’s draft position won’t be affected by his sexual orientation and that the NFL recognizes societal changes.