Football (American) Hub




NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO

3_sam

NFL free agent defensive end Michael Sam has been invited to the first-ever veteran combine, ESPN reports:

The veteran combine will be held March 22 in Tempe, Arizona, less than a week after Sam is set to start competing on the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which starts March 16.

Sam was chosen last year in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams but the team released him before the season began. He was later signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but then waived.

The Veteran Combine is similar to the one held for potential draftees but it is for current NFL free agents like Sam.

Following the announcement this week that Sam would compete on Dancing With The Stars, he released a statement on Twitter:

Very excited to be a part of @DancingABC. Football remains my unquestioned number 1 priority, however, while I continue to train and stay ready, I am ecstatic to participate in a fun, athletic competition like so many players before me have done. Filming this offseason is very flexible and allows me to be part of the veterans combine 3/22 if accepted or any other workouts. I’m looking forward to getting started with @PetaMurgatroyd and winning! Thanks for the support! #TeamSambatroyd

Paparazzi stationed outside Dancing With The Stars rehearsals caught up with Sam this week as he arrived to rehearsals with fiancé Vito Cammisano in tow, and asked him which was tougher, dancing or the combine.

"Both," he replied.

They also asked if he has nailed his first dance yet:

"I think it's a secret right now. It's different from football. Peta's (Murgatroyd, his partner) doing a great job. She's bearing with me. It's different than football, clearly. But I'm getting the hang of it. It's fun. Great workout."

And what kind of advice he had for gay kids nervous to come out.

"Be on your truth. On your truth."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO" »


Media Mogul David Geffen's 21-Year-old College Football Player Ex-Boyfriend Admits to Stalking Charge

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07cecfc0970d-800wi

Jamie Ralph Kuntz, a former North Dakota college football player, has been given probation for stalking his Hollywood mogul ex-boyfriend David Geffen, the Associated Press reports.

Kuntz pleaded no contest to charges of felony stalking and violating a restraining order to stay away from Geffen’s California homes.

According to defense lawyer David Wohl, although Kuntz - who had been in a short-term relationship with Geffen - would have won had the case gone to trial, he did not want to spend any more time in jail having served three months because he could not afford $150,000 bail.

Wohl added that the outcome is “celebrity justice in reverse” because “the victim is a celebrity, and judges are afraid of something happening to them."

Kuntz has been ordered to attend psychiatric counseling twice a week for 12 months as a condition of his two-year probation term.

In 2012, Kuntz was kicked off his college football team for being gay.


Michael Sam Says He Doesn't Believe Being Gay Has Kept Him Off NFL Roster: VIDEO

MichaelSam

In a new post on Sports Illustrated's MMQB blog, Michael Sam reflects on the last 12 months of his career and his goal to make it onto the NFL roster. The first openly gay player to be drafted in the league, Sam attempts to set the record straight, so to speak, about his decision to come out and what he believes has stopped him from being signed to one of the NFL's 32 teams. 

While Sam writes, "I don’t believe that being gay has kept me off an NFL roster," he also states unequivocally that his not being in the league is not for lack of the requisite athletic ability to succeed: "I will challenge anyone who says I don’t have the talent to make it in the league."

Of his decision to come out, Sam tackles head-on the intense media scrutiny over the attention he received, stating, "Contrary to what some people may think, I didn’t make this announcement for the sake of making history, or because I relished the attention that it came along with." 

Sam2Sam's up-close-and-personal essay also addresses that infamous ESPN report on his showering habits:

"I never doubted that my teammates had my back, but if I needed any evidence, it happened toward the end of camp in August when a television network decided to run a questionable segment about what my showering habits looked like. I immediately received support inside the Rams locker room from my teammates, but when Chris Long sent his famous tweet informing the network that “everyone but you is over it,” that meant a lot. To see a veteran like Chris very publicly get my back is something I will never forget and will always be grateful for."

In an interview with the MMQB, the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year talked about being contacted by closeted players both in the NFL and other sports leagues, saying,

"I'm not the only one. A lot of people--just because we play a masculine sport they think there's no gay players in the NFL. There's a lot of us. And you know, but they need to feel more comfortable to come out when they're ready."

Sam adds that he thought his coming out as a rookie would give "courage" to closeted players who were veterans in the league to come out. Said Sam, "I was wrong, but it's all good." 

Meanwhile, Sam isn't giving up on his NFL aspirations: "I’ll give up the game when my legs are both broken. I’m a football player and I will keep fighting for my dream to play in the NFL."

Watch Sam's interview with the MMQB, AFTER THE JUMP...

And read his post HERE.

Continue reading "Michael Sam Says He Doesn't Believe Being Gay Has Kept Him Off NFL Roster: VIDEO" »


Former High School Football Star Explains Why He Got 'It Gets Better' Tattoo After Coming Out

Ray

The words "It Gets Better" mean so much to Dalton Ray that he got them tattooed on his arm. 

Ray is a former high school football star who's now a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

In a post for OutSports, Ray recounts how he struggled with his sexual orientation — both on and off the field — before finally coming out during his junior year of high school:  

Middle school was a challenge, but high school was the true battle for me. Subtle feelings turned into everyday thoughts. It increasingly became clear this wasn't just a phase for me.

To make it even worse I started hearing my peers, including some of my closest friends, use terms like "gay", "faggot", and "queer" to describe when something was stupid or wrong. Eventually that's how I felt - I felt like something was wrong with me, and worst of all I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror because I was so ashamed of who I was. ... 

One saying that has guided me through all of this: "It Gets Better." It's hard to realize that when you're stuck in the middle of the country hearing gay slurs every day. As I opened up my true self to people, I learned the power and truth of those three words. It's meant so much that I tattooed it on my arm.

In an "It Gets Better" video accompanying his OutSports piece, Ray — who also competed in basketball and track — says he didn't think it was possible to be an openly gay athlete until he became one:

Ray"I had this huge misconception that you couldn't be in sports and also be gay. That's wrong. That's completely, utterly wrong. I think once I actually came out I became a better athlete. I became a better competitor. I also became a better friend, a better brother, a better son, because I was finally being honest with not just everyone around me, but being honest with myself, and that's an extremely important part of life."  

Ray also has a powerful message for LGBT youth who are contemplating suicide:

"A bad day doesn't mean you have a bad life. If you don't think people wouldn't miss you, you're completely wrong, because you have friends and family and people in your lives that would miss you so much, so don't make them know what it feels like to live without you, because you're special, you're unique, you're an awesome person, and it gets better."

Read Ray's full article here and watch his "It Gets Better" video, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Former High School Football Star Explains Why He Got 'It Gets Better' Tattoo After Coming Out" »


One Year After Coming Out, Michael Sam Is 'Not On A Team Because He's Gay'

Sam

It was one year ago today that NFL prospect Michael Sam came out as gay

The St. Louis Rams later drafted Sam in the seventh round, and he appeared in four preseason games before being cut. The Dallas Cowboys then added him to their practice squad before also cutting him

Since then, Sam hasn't gotten any calls from other teams, but he has applied for one of 100 spots at the NFL's first veteran combine next month. 

CBS Sports reports: 

About a month ago, the NFL announced that it would hold the first-ever veteran combine in Arizona on March 22, to correspond with the location and timing of the NFL owners meetings, which will be held in Arizona from March 22-24 this year.

NFL director of football development Matt Birk sent out a memo in January in which he called the current free agent process inefficient and said, "There's a void there. There was nothing for that guy out there who has one or two or three years in the league and is not with a team and is at the mercy of when the phone rings or when his agent gets him a workout. This will be a forum for these guys to showcase their talents and a service for our clubs instead of [what had been] an inefficient process."

One of the players who hopes to be extended one of about 100 invitations is apparently former St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Michael Sam, who fits the description of the kind of player referenced in the league memo.

USA Today reports that if Sam isn't invited to the veteran combine, he has a one-year contract offer from the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes.

Sam, 25, isn't doing media interviews, his publicist, Chris Licata, said in an email. He most recently was seen publicly as part of a Coca-Cola ad during Super Bowl XLIX. He has not received another NFL contract offer, even though rosters expand to 90 in the offseason.

But Sam is expected to be back in the football spotlight soon. The former University of Missouri standout has applied for one of about 100 spots in the NFL's first-ever veteran combine. The hope is that leads to an NFL contract offer and a chance to go to training camp. If not, a one-year contract offer from the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes is waiting for him.

Tear up the CFL for a year, and Sam could find a greater market south of the border, though not everyone believes the primary reason for his unemployment is that he hasn't shown he can play. 

In a long post at OutSports marking the one-year anniversary of Sam's coming out, Cyd Zeigler explains why he believes Sam has been shut out of the NFL. 

For example, Sam is the only prospect in the last 20 years who didn't make an active NFL roster after being named Defense Player of The Year in a major college conference and being drafted. And he is one of two defensive ends, out of 20, who recorded similar stats in the preseason but did not make a season-long practice squad or active roster.   

Ziegler told USA Today

Zeigler"A year ago, history was being made, and that history got put on hold," said Cyd Zeigler, an advocate and co-founder of Outsports.com who has chronicled Sam's story from the start.

"No one I talk to seems willing to tell me why. But I get the sense from everyone that they have a really good idea of why. And it's not his performance in college, and it's not his performance in the preseason. Nobody will say what the pink elephant in the room is." ... 

"But they're thinking the same thing," Zeigler said. "Michael Sam is not on a team because he's gay. If Michael Sam had never come out of the closet, he would be on an NFL roster today. Period." 


Michael Sam Reportedly Engaged to Boyfriend Vito Cammisano

Sam
(instagram)

Unconfirmed reports are coming in that Michael Sam is now engaged to longtime boyfriend Vito Cammisano.

TMZ writes that it's "unclear who asked who ... but one of Vito's friends (who was on the University of Missouri swim team with Vito) is already congratulating the couple about it on Twitter ... and Sam "liked" her post."

Page Six reports the couple got engaged in Rome during their European vacation through Italy and Spain. Sam turned 25 on Wednesday. 

Congrats to the happy couple if reports are true!

Watch a clip of Sam discussing his thoughts on marriage for last month's Oprah Winfrey Network documentary (and more shots from the European vacation), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam Reportedly Engaged to Boyfriend Vito Cammisano" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged