Contact: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Former professional football player Michael Sam will share his stories of breaking barriers and triumphing over hardships next week as part of the Mississippi State University Student Association’s Fall Lecture Series.
The presentation will take place Wednesday [Nov. 15] at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Sam was a standout football player at the University of Missouri, where he was named the 2013 Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Following his senior season at Missouri, he came out as gay, becoming one of college football’s first to do so. He would go on to be selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
After stints with the Rams and Dallas Cowboys, Sam was signed by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2015. That August, Sam announced he was retiring from professional football. He is now an author and motivational speaker.
Since his coming out, Sam has risen to prominence in inclusion efforts and as a pioneer in the LGBTQ community. Among many accolades, he received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPY Awards.
Previous speakers in the Student Association’s lecture series include former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East; Benjamin Mee, whose life was highlighted in the film “We Bought a Zoo”; and Herman Boone, the former T.C. Williams High School football coach featured in “Remember the Titans.”
For more on the MSU Student Association, visit www.sa.msstate.edu or follow on Twitter and Instagram @MSU_SA.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.