Michael Sam is choosing to focus on his training in advance of the NFL draft. (Ben Walton/SI)
Former Missouri Tigers standout Michael Sam has been thrust into the media spotlight after coming out as gay last month. That revelation has opened the door to several opportunities, many of which allow him to share his story to people across the nation.
While Sam has embraced that role, his full attention right now is on NFL workouts as he prepares for the 2014 NFL draft.
One of the invitations that Sam received was for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but he politely passed on the offer.
“We respectfully declined,” Sam's advisor, Howard Bragman, told USA Today. “As much fun as I would have had and he would have had going, it sends the wrong message. If he gets on a team and plays well, he’ll probably be invited next year. I don’t want people to think that he’s interested in anything other than getting ready for the draft.”
MORE: NFL free agency rumors | 2014 NFL mock draft database: SI’s experts all weigh in
Since the draft season started, Sam has turned in a disappointing performance at the Senior Bowl and then followed that up with a poor showing at the NFL scouting combine.
Given those poor performances, Sam seems to be making the right choice by keeping his attention on the ultimate goal of becoming an NFL player.
Sam said during the combine that he wants to be known as just a football player and not an openly gay player, and his actions are certainly a step in the right direction.