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Michael Sam’s father went drinking after learning son is gay

Updated: February 24, 2014 10:14PM

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam mostly has received support since
announcing he is gay, but his father reportedly is struggling with the news.

Sam came out to his teammates in August, but he didn’t disclose his sexual orientation to his parents until last week. He said Sunday in interviews with ESPN’s ‘‘Outside The Lines’’ and the New York Times that he is gay.

Michael Sam Sr. told the Times he got the news
Feb. 4, when his son wrote in a text: ‘‘Dad, I’m gay.’’

Sam’s father took the news hard. He said he was eating at a Denny’s restaurant but had to leave after receiving the text.

‘‘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., who described himself as ‘‘old-school,’’ told the Times the idea of a gay player in the NFL bothers him, even when that person might be his own son. But he also told the newspaper he loves his son and hopes he makes it to the NFL.

‘‘As a black man, we have so many hurdles to cross,’’ he said. ‘‘This is just one he has to cross.’’

The Times reported that when Sam returns to his hometown of Hitchcock, Texas, he usually stays with friends instead of family.

‘‘I’m closer to my friends than I am to my family,’’ Sam told the newspaper.

Sun-Times wires

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