Michael Sam’s Troubled Upbringing in Texas

Joe Drape, Steve Eder, and Billy Witz, writing for The New York Times:

But Sam has never had it easy. He grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends.

For the unnamed NFL executives who have wondered publicly about Sam’s ability to deal with the “media circus” that will follow his inevitable journey into the NFL, just know that this guy has already dealt with adversity—real adversity, not bullshit manufactured adversity—and, by all accounts, seems to not only have gotten through it, but appears to be a better man for it.

Also, make sure you watch the video in this piece. This guy is loved—not liked, loved—in his hometown and at his school by people of all different shapes and colors and backgrounds. It’s too early to say, but it’s looking like Michael Sam might be the perfect person to break down the barrier he’s about to break down. What a class act.