New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year this past season, roomed with Michael Sam at Missouri in 2012, telling New York Newsday he knew about Sam's sexual orientation and it was of no consequence.
"I lived with Michael Sam, regular guy, has his own sexuality. With me living with him, it was a little unusual at first, but it's stuff you look past," Richardson told Newsday in his first comments on Sam, who publicly acknowledged on Sunday that he is gay. "It wasn't anything unusual. He was my guy, my home boy."
Sam stands to be the first openly gay NFL player if he makes a team, and Richardson told SNY that Sam would be a fine teammate and help any NFL team he joins.
"He was a great teammate, a great person," Richardson said. "If guys [in the NFL] can't get past that, then, I mean, it's just crazy. You wanted a football player, you got the football player. I promise you his sexuality has nothing to do with him playing on the football field. He is a completely different person [on the field]. He puts this face on, no smiles, serious business. He's a killer."
Richardson said Sam did not publicly acknowledge his sexuality in 2012, Newsday reported. He did tell his Missouri coaches and teammates he was gay before this past season.