Michael Sam tells Oprah other gay NFL players have contacted him

Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, has told Oprah in a new interview that other gay men in the league contacted him to give their gratitude and respect following his monumental coming out earlier this year, revealing: ‘There’s a lot of us out there.’

‘I’m not the only one – I’m just the only one that’s open,’ Sam adds in a clip for the interview, which will air in-full on Saturday after a 90-minute documentary produced by the OWN network about the inspirational athlete.

The sit-down with Winfrey is the 24-year-old’s first since being cut from the St. Louis Rams and then dropped by the Dallas Cowboys, and she presses him on the other men in the NFL who have chosen not to come out.

Sam refuses to give a number at how many other players are gay, but says a small number contacted him.

‘Very few reached out to me and pretty much just told me their gratitude and how thankful they were that I had the courage (to come out publicly),’ Sam said.

‘They wished that they had the courage to come out.

‘(They) just showed their respect and admired my courage … It was very good.’

In the full interview, Sam will answer a question from Winfrey as to whether believes being gay stopped him from getting on the NFL roster this year.

When asked by TMZ why he thought he was not on the roster of an NFL team, Sam said; ‘I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year … so I don’t think it had to do with talent.’

Earlier this month, Sam received a GQ Man of the Year award.

He celebrated the accolade by kissing his partner, Vito Cammisano, on the photo wall at the event.

In his cover story with the magazine, the former University of Missouri star also spoke of the other gay men in the league, and the belief that maybe others would have followed him.

‘I said I’d take everything that came at me (after coming out), and I did,’ he told the publication.

‘But did I think it was gonna be that huge? No.

‘I thought people would be just, “Okay, he came out.”

‘And that would be that. Some thought others would join me. I did, too.’

When the interviewer told Sam that ‘it’ – other players coming out – ‘may’ happen, a defiant Sam answered: ‘It will’

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