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Michael Sam tells TMZ that he’s not in the NFL because he’s gay

Michael Sam said talent has nothing to do with why he’s not playing in the NFL right now.

In an interview with TMZ at that Los Angeles International Airport, Sam hinted to his being gay as the reason NFL teams aren’t interested.

“I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year,” Sam said, “so I don’t think it had to do with talent.”

Sam was released from the Cowboys practice squad in October.

Watch the interview:

In an interview with GQ last month, Sam acknowledged that he would have handled coming out as gay in a different manner if he could do it all over.

Sam: 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.

GQ: Really?

Sam: I would have done the same thing I did at Mizzou. Which was to tell my team and my coaches and leave it at that. But since I did tell my team, word got out.… People think the word didn’t get out. It did. Or it did and it didn’t. They kept it confined within our family. But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn’t have the year I did, nobody would have cared. But I did have that year. And a lot of people knew. Someone was gonna ask me, “I heard you told your team a secret.…” Well, I was comfortable with who I was, and I wouldn’t have denied it. And then I wouldn’t have been able to control the story. But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason. 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. I’m at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I’m a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player.