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Michael Sam: 'If I want to kiss my boyfriend, I'm gonna kiss him'

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The football player also talks about his bond with Dave Kopay.

One of the best things about Michael Sam has always been his honesty and directness. He is a proud out gay man and makes no apologies. This is clear in a great Esquire "What I Learned" feature.

These were my two favorite answers:

Dave Kopay was the first to come out. He's in his seventies now. The man is still strong. When he shook my hand, he almost broke it. He asked me why I was coming out, and I told him it was because of my boyfriend. "Do you love him?" he asked. I said, "Yeah, I love him a lot." And he said, "Good, remember that love between you and him, it's going to help you through the process." And I do, because it was a difficult process to bear.

If I want to kiss my boyfriend, I'm gonna kiss him. If they want to film it, that's their problem. Don't be mad at me for sharing a huge moment in my life with someone I love.

The kiss between Sam and boyfriend Vito Cammisano, shown live during the NFL Draft, was the sports image of 2014. I love that Sam does need to feel any reason to downplay it since no straight athlete would even be asked about such a kiss with their girlfriend. Partners kiss their partners, get over it.

As for his words on Kopay, Cyd and I were with Sam when he first met Kopay last February before coming out. It was a powerful moment seeing two generations of football players come together and I thought Kopay never was going to let go of Sam. I see Kopay regularly and he speaks of that moment often. I love this shot I took of the two of them together:

sam kopay