Michael Sam Felt 'Used by Everyone' During Job Hunt After Football Career Ended

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2019

St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) during pregame before a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in Cleveland.  (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

Former St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Michael Sam reflected on the aftermath of his football career in a recent interview with Flinder Boyd of Yahoo Sports. 

Sam, who became the first openly gay player in the NFL when the Rams took him in the 2014 draft, said "no one would give me a job" after his brief NFL career ended. He added, "Where was the support that I got for coming out? I felt like I was used by everyone."

The Rams released Sam prior to the start of the 2014 regular season, and while he caught on with the Cowboys as a member of their practice squad, he never played in a regular-season NFL game.

Before getting selected by the Rams with the No. 249 overall pick in 2014, Sam was a star defensive end at the University of Missouri.

Sam registered 47 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in Mizzou in 2013. That netted him a unanimous All-America selection and an SEC Defensive Player of the Year award.

After failing to crack a team's 53-man roster during the NFL regular season, Sam signed with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes in 2015, but he appeared in just one game before leaving the team.

Since then, Sam has struggled to find permanent employment. According to Boyd, Sam primarily speaks at college campuses as a means of supporting himself.

Following his playing career, Sam said he contacted the NFL's player engagement department in hopes of landing a job, but after giving him a tour of the league offices in New York, he said "they just sent me on my way."

As outlined by Floyd, Sam struggled with alcohol and drug abuse after moving to Los Angeles in 2016. He eventually stopped using drugs and instead looked to workout groups and meditation upon returning to Dallas in 2018. Sam said he also reached out to family members like his parents and brother to improve his relationship with them.

The 29-year-old reflected on his career, saying, "I wish I was still playing football, but I know if I was in the NFL I wouldn't have a relationship with my family."

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