Michael Sam Covers ‘OUT’ Magazine

Published: Thursday 10th Jul 2014 by David

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‘NFL‘ athlete Michael Sam finds a friend in ‘Out’ magazine this year, teaming up with the LGBTQ publication for a spread which sought to shed light on his life since he revealed that he was gay.

Unveiled before the arrival of ‘OWN’ Reality TV series, Sam’s time with the outlet brought with it talk of the NFL’s response to him since his “outing” and the media’s response to the kiss he shared with boyfriend Vito Cammisano after he was drafted on-camera.

Snaps and quotes below…

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Via ‘Out’:

While making history in the NFL, Sam has concurrently joined an elite club: the miniscule number of people whose reputations have been damaged, not enhanced, by an association with Oprah Winfrey. For Sam’s critics, his decision to participate in a documentary series for the Oprah Winfrey Network, a channel with a primarily female viewership, seemed like proof that drafting Sam would bring shame upon the NFL — if not by transforming teammates into “lustful cockmonsters,” to use Kluwe’s phrase, then by polluting the league’s heroic aura by mixing it with reality TV. Attention from Winfrey provided the alchemy through which Sam’s “big deal” became a “big distraction,” a term with no fixed meaning that has nonetheless played a decisive role in Sam’s tumultuous year (one of Sam’s agents told me he wants the word “distraction” banned and removed from the dictionary).

 

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Even if the widespread anger over Winfrey’s association is really a cover for anger about Sam’s ultra-famous kiss, it seems plausible to suggest that resentment of homosexuality and resentment of reality TV, in this instance, are mutually reinforcing. And to the extent that both resentements reflect a discomfort with exhibitionism, they might actually be different versions of the same thing.

The problem with the Winfrey backlash is that while every sports league has to negotiate the tension between players’ status as athletes and their status as celebrity entertainers, the NFL has already ruled decisively in favor of entertainment, allowing numerous reality shows to infiltrate its locker rooms and document players’ lives on and off the field. Between documentary series like A Football Life30 for 30, and Hard Knockson the one hand, and sex-and-dating-driven reality shows starring players such as Eric Decker, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and Hank Baskett on the other, there is only one possible frontier that a Sam reality show could cross: the gay one.

Another difference with Sam, some have argued, is that, despite his accolades, he has not yet proven himself in the holy rituals of physical accomplishment required to earn him the right to parade himself on television. The rule seems to be “yes, you’re allowed to make millions off of your football celebrity, just not for the achievement of committing an astonishing act of trailblazing bravery.”

The reality is that in his 24 years on the planet, Sam has already overcome far more than virtually anyone in the NFL. Growing up as the seventh of eight children in Hitchcock, Texas, a small town outside Galveston, Sam drew a difficult hand. When he was 5 years old, his parents separated. Shortly thereafter, he witnessed his older brother Russell die of a gun-shot wound. At age 8, Sam and his younger sister were the last people to see their older brother Julian before he vanished in a suspected kidnapping. Two other brothers ended up in prison. For a time during elementary school, Sam was homeless and lived with his mother in a car. As Sam put it in his coming-out interview on ESPN, his life thus far has been filled with “some hardships, some tragedies, and some adversity. Telling the world I’m gay is nothing compared to that.”

Sam met Cammisano at one of the first big parties he attended in his freshman year. “We didn’t start off as huge fans of each other,” he says. It was a lingerie party, and Cammisano was dressed as a rabbit, his underwear amplified by a bushy white tail. Sam remembers the tail because when he first saw him, Cammisano was bent over the railing of a second-story garden deck, violently puking. “I went up to him to ask if he was OK, and he started cursing at me, screaming, ‘Fuck off — do you know who I am?’ ” A new kid at Mizzou, Sam wasn’t aware that Cammisano was a star swimmer. “I told him I didn’t care who he was. We didn’t speak again for two years.”

By the time they were reintroduced by a mutual friend during Sam’s junior year, Cammisano had come out as gay. Sam, though, was still in the closet. One night, the trio went out together to a bar. “I could see he was interested,” Sam said. “I bought him a couple of drinks, got us tipsy. Toward the end of the night, I put my arm around him, and it was over.” The two started dating, but Sam was concerned about his teammates finding out. “Everyone knew Vito was gay, so we couldn’t even be seen together. There was a lot of climbing out of windows.” Eventually, the two split. As time went on, though, Sam grew more comfortable with being gay and the couple got back together before Sam’s senior year. This time they made no efforts to hide their relationship, and Sam decided it was time to formally come out to his team. “Vito was really the person who showed me I had to do it,” Sam said. “I wanted us to be comfortable.”

The debate over whether Sam is actually a superior talent is somewhat absurd, but it merits our consideration if only to elicit sympathy for a young man whose journey is just beginning. And it may never really be over. Millions of people around the world have pinned their hopes on Sam because they want to believe he will prove that gays aren’t sissies—that through his perseverance and talent, he will somehow extinguish homophobia. It’s a foolhardy wish. For prejudicial temperaments impervious to fact, Sam’s accomplishments may never be enough.

We should let him have his future, as storied or as obscure as it turns out to be, and instead celebrate him for the achievements he’s already banked.

 

 Your thoughts?

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  1. Kim Kardashian Stan July 10, 2014

    He looks miserable.

  2. Rihboy July 10, 2014

    S*** ass! His man handle looks real

  3. Stephy July 10, 2014

    I feel sorry for whoever has to have s** with him…

    • KatyCat July 10, 2014

      Why?

  4. ChrisTUNA AguiHAHA July 10, 2014

    bottom liner

  5. Belladonna1363 July 10, 2014

    The fact that TGJ post on gay people is always shocking to me. Even with most of them being gay themselves they never talk about the amount of homophobia in Urban music or at the BET awards? Even when they post on Frank’s coming out they never really said how they felt. And gay black people are notorious for being self-hating. But anyway This is Amazing & I’m very proud to be an out LGBT person of color.

    • Diabetes UNBOTHERED July 10, 2014

      F**!

    • Charli S.E.X July 10, 2014

      You know TGJ personally to know that they’re gay?

      • Belladonna1363 July 10, 2014

        Your right I don’t know if there gay or not but if I had to make an educated guess with the amount of Stan wars they start over How much they think Beyonce is better then Rihanna & How bad of an artist they think Rihanna is. And then if I compare that to how many masculine people ( not just straight but butch Gay Girls & Gay Guys Talk about Rihanna vs Beyonce? I think I would have a good chance of being right. Is it right to make that guess? No! I’m I probably right about my guess? Yes. Does that make them bad people? No. But it does make what I said be4 in my comment valid.

    • BeyBeyKing July 10, 2014

      Who told you Grape Juice’s writers were gay?

    • Ren July 10, 2014

      You’re a f*g.

  6. Diabetes UNBOTHERED July 10, 2014

    Pure Misery…

    (Top Pic)lol

  7. Biting Truth July 10, 2014

    Degeneracy shouldn’t be celebrated.

  8. BeyBeyKing July 10, 2014

    I hate that everyone assumes that everybody who is gay or bi has to come out and say it. At the same time, I hate down low men who will sleep with a man on the low but want to bully gay folks in front of other people.

    • TeenageDreamer July 10, 2014

      Girl! The worst ones are the ones who LUST over dudes who don’t even respect them.

    • Cage July 10, 2014

      G** is a CONSUMED Identity,

      Homosexual is a Orientation.

      I hate when ppl dont see the diffrence

      • Cage July 10, 2014

        In my opinion Michael Sam wasnt “G**” until he SAID he was.

  9. IStanForYourFav July 10, 2014

    That first pic tho… sad. He looks miserable and almost like he’s not even there if you get what I mean 😉 Poor guy. I feel for anyone who has pretend to be something that their not though. Be yourself and if thepeople you can’t accept it, then you don’t need them.

    • IStanForYourFav July 10, 2014

      The people around you****

  10. Whaat? July 10, 2014

    How is this guy gay when he has a father? Smh

    • Cage July 10, 2014

      How is LL Cool J STR8 when he grew up WITH a father?

    • Cage July 10, 2014

      *WITHOUT*

    • Cage July 10, 2014

      Michael Sam wasnt “G**” until he SAID he was. imo

      • Whaat? July 10, 2014

        Gay people are the way they are because most of them are fatherless

    • Cage July 10, 2014

      you shouldnt put things in ABSOLUTES. HomoXulity can occur very Subtly & it hasnt been any more proven to be developmental nor inborn. its a PREFERENCE 1st & foremost & could come more from being turned off by the OPPOSITE s**.

  11. Cage July 10, 2014

    Nig*** is to Black what G** is to Homosexual.

  12. Cage July 10, 2014

    Then How is it that we have STR8 Rappers who were ABUSED & ABANDONED by their fathers dumbass? you shouldnt put things in ABSOLUTES. HomoXulity can occur very Subtly & it hasnt been any more proven to be developmental nor inborn. Its a PREFERENCE 1st & foremost & could come more from being turned off by the OPPOSITE s** or even from being naturally defiant & menacing. Who Knows for sure but “GOD”?

    • RICHIE_RICH July 10, 2014

      Please stop with that. Some were born that way and some choose to be that way……

  13. RICHIE_RICH July 10, 2014

    That thing know he S E X Y. I love a Thick muscle man…Arm, legs, cakes and wood …..yesssssss

  14. SBC19 July 10, 2014

    #NOHOMO

  15. DD July 10, 2014

    I congratulate Sam for being black, out and signed to the NFL. I also think it’s telling and groundbreaking that the two first out homosexuals currently working in professional sports are both black men. That will only help the current and future generations of LGTB accept themselves, and help society heal as a whole for being so damn ignorant when it comes to same-s** loving people.

  16. Lovebird July 10, 2014

    That white dude he f****** got in there before any thirsty n**** got a chance; he gone get coined up.

    Anyway this is a big step our culture I guess; I hope he doesn’t have a difficult time on the field. Good luck to him.

  17. Sheroq July 10, 2014

    Michael Sam is a disgusting amoral q**** who has no business in the NFL and I’ll root for any team his plays against. His team maters better watch out for him staring in the locker room.

  18. DMWN July 10, 2014

    Sorry but that s*** is disgusting.
    Homosexuality is disturbed behavior.
    Stop trying to normalize the abnormal.
    Michael Sam ain’t right in the head.

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