Michael Sam reveals a number of dark details about his upbringing in a new interview with GQ. The seventh-round pick from this year's NFL draft reveals that football was a refuge from going home to his two older brothers, whom he describes as "evil people."
Sam also talks about his decision to come out before the NFL draft, and how his awareness of rumors pushed him to make the announcement when he did.
"If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did, never would have told it the way I did," Sam says to GQ’s Andrew Corsello. "But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out.
"But I have no regrets."
Sam reveals how his relationship with football didn't start out as one of romance. When he first started playing, sports served as an escape -- time he could spend out of the house and away from two dangerous older brothers.
"Most of the time, that was scary. I tried to stay away as much as possible," Sam says, explaining how he was regularly beat up. "We called the cops on my brothers so many times I can't even count. Not only for hurting me. They'd abuse my sisters. Verbally abuse my mom. My brothers were evil people."
Sam said his brothers have recently written him letters from prison, but that he has no relationship with them. He told GQ he was offended that they refer to themselves as his brothers.
Sam is currently unattached to an NFL team after the Dallas Cowboys cut him from their practice squad earlier this year. But the former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri sounds resolved to prove himself -- and is comfortable with his current circumstances.
"It looks good to see me in the position I’m in now, because I can show the world how good I am and rise up the ranks," Sam says. "I’m at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I’m a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player."
The latest issue of GQ hits newsstands nationwide on Nov. 25.