Michael Sam and his father have repairing their relationship since he came out in 2014.
Michael Sam and his father are still working on their relationship, he revealed in a new Yahoo Sports story.
Sam, the former SEC defensive player of the year, made history when he came out as gay before the 2014 NFL draft and became the first openly gay player selected in the draft when he was picked by the St. Louis Rams. But while plenty of people offered support, Sam's father Michael Sam, Sr. had trouble adjusting to the news.
Shortly after his son made his announcement in 2014, Sam Sr. told the New York Times, "I’m old school. I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy."
After the comments, Michael Sam said those comments and others made in the article were "unforgivable."
"I still love him, but I can love him from afar," Sam said.
According to Yahoo, Sam said he has always had a rocky relationship with his family, including his father. He said football was his connection to his father, who he'd sometimes only see at games in high school. Following his coming out, Sam tweeted in 2015 that he chatted with his father for the first time in more than a year.
Yahoo reports Sam had a tough experience adjusting life after football, resorting to alcohol and hard drugs, but last summer he had a realization and stopped doing drugs in addition to working on his family relationships. He texted his father before Christmas this year and saw him for the first time since 2014. On Valentine's Day, Sam Sr. texted his son.
"I wish I was still playing football," Sam told Yahoo Sports. "But I know if I was in the NFL I wouldn’t have a relationship with my family."
Sam was cut by the Rams at the end of training camp and was signed to the Cowboys practice squad but was released by Dallas in October 2014. He never played in a NFL game, instead going to the CFL and then competing on Dancing With the Stars. Sam told Yahoo he's worked as a speaker on college campuses for the past year.