The father of gay pro football prospect Michael Sam stated that the New York Times misrepresented and “terribly misquoted” him regarding his son’s coming out.
ESPN reported on Friday that Michael Sam Sr. that Michael Sam Sr. took issue with the way he was quoted by the Times. He denied saying, for example, that he did not want his grandchildren “raised in that kind of environment.” He also told the Galveston, Texas Daily News that he never described himself as a “man-and-a-woman type of guy” to the Times.
The statements ran as part of a Feb. 11 story describing the younger Sam’s upbringing in Hitchcock, Texas. The story read in part:
On Sunday night, just after Michael Sam announced his intention to make sports history, his father was still struggling with the news.
Sam Sr. loves his son, and he said he hoped his son made it to the N.F.L. “As a black man, we have so many hurdles to cross,” he said. “This is just one he has to cross.”
But he expressed discomfort at the very idea of a gay N.F.L. player, even if the player was his son. He grumbled that Deacon Jones, the Hall of Fame defensive end renowned for his toughness, “is turning over in his grave.”
Sam Sr. also said the Times mischaracterized his statement regarding Deacon Jones, telling the Daily News, “I told them Deacon Jones is going to roll over in his grave because here comes my son and that he’s going to be a star in the NFL.”
The Times told the Texas newspaper it quoted Sam Sr. “accurately and fairly.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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