Michael Sam said in a TV documentary with Oprah Winfrey that aired Saturday night that coming out as gay was the right thing to do.
The 90-minute program on the Oprah Winfrey Network, which also included a one-on-one with Sam and Winfrey, was the the former St. Louis Rams draft pick's first TV appearance since being cut by the Dallas Cowboys from their practice squad in October. Sam signed with Dallas after he was part of the Rams' final round of training camp cuts.
Sam said that while he knew coming out was the right decision, his preference was to tell the team that drafted him before the news became public.
"It didn't need to be public," Sam said, according to the Associated Press. "Why do gay people have to do it?"
The documentary also discusses what Sam called "the infamous kiss" TV cameras captured between he and his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, after being notified the Rams were drafting him.
"Some say the kiss, the cake, it was all just too much," Winfrey said. "Some say he wasn't good enough. Others say he should have never come out, one saying during the introduction to the program that he would be the mother of all distractions."
Sam is currently a free agent after spending seven weeks on the Cowboys' practice squad.
- Mike Fiammetta