Here Is The Letter Michael Sam Wrote To His Alma Mater

Michael sam mizzou studentsL.G. Patterson/APStudents cheer as Michael Sam enters Mizzou’s Hearnes Arena after becoming the first openly gay player to join the NFL.

As Michael Sam prepares for the NFL draft and a lot of professional uncertainty, he will be leaving behind the University of Missouri and a campus filled with people who saw beyond his sexual preferences.For that, he is thankful. He wrote a letter to the editor of The Missourian and asked for it to be published during Pro Day.

To my fellow University of Missouri students, athletes, faculty, alumni and supporters:

From my first recruiting trip to the University of Missouri, I felt something extraordinary and special — something I didn’t feel anyplace else.

I didn’t have a name for it then; I do now. It’s called family.

And to me that family is defined by unconditional love.

Certainly you cheered my successes, but you also picked me up when I fell.

Maybe most importantly, you gave me a chance to live my truth without judgment, without hesitation and with great discretion and respect.

Michael sam mizzouL.G. Patterson/APMissouri’s All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime during a Mizzou basketball game.

When I came out last month, I did it with the confidence that my Mizzou “family” would always be there for me.

To put it mildly, the love and acceptance I felt was amazing.

The day after the announcement, my name was spelled out in the stadium; fraternities hung #StandWithSam banners; then when I went to the basketball game to honour the football team’s Cotton Bowl victory, I worked hard not to cry because of the amazing reception.

I have a long journey ahead of me, a lot of hard work and many dreams I want to fulfil.

But I do it with the confidence that my Mizzou family will be there for me every step of the way.

I will continue to work my hardest; I will strive to make you all proud.

And I will be a Tiger forever.



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