But there’s one new title that seems to supersede all the rest, and it has nothing to do with his sexuality — sports superstar.
And now that he’s officially suited up with the Rams, it looks like he’s here to stay. He’s a household name now, and that means a life in the spotlight.
But his former roommate/Missouri teammate has been quoted saying there’s been a change in the Michael Sam that he knew and loved. He told CBS News:
“He is a nice guy, but I will say the truth: A little bit of him has changed,” Waters said. “It is really not my situation to speculate at this point, but he is not the same Michael Sam anymore.”
So what’s different?
“Just the way he acts and carries himself,” Waters said. “I was watching the NFL Network the other day and I think it was Marshall Faulk who said that he keeps referring to himself in the third person as Michael Sam this, Michael Sam that. That’s not the same guy we knew back when we were living together. He is not the same fun-loving, joking guy that really didn’t care about stuff like publicity.”
Here’s a look at just how similar Michael’s behavior has been compared to what we’ve come to expect from sports’ most well-known athletes:
Cried tears of joy when he got “the call” that changed his life.
It may have generated a flood of reactions from fans and the media who were surprised to see some same-sex loving on ESPN of all places, but Michael was really just behaving like every other player who got drafted that day.
It would have been more of a statement (and not a good one) if he hadn’t kissed his boyfriend. For the record, Daniel Radcliffe agrees.
Wasted no time with merchandising.
Lets face it, Michael Sam is now a brand. And no one is more aware of that than Michael Sam (and maybe Michael Sam’s agent). That means merchandising, merchandising, merchandising.
Michael Jordan had Air Jordans. David Beckham has a line of fragrances. And Michel Sam has…buttons.
Michael set up an official website where you can purchase all things Sam, like this pack of 50 buttons for $100. Seeing as buttons can’t cost more than a dime to produce, that’s a pretty steep profit margin.
You can “stand with Sam,” but it’s going to cost you.
Signing an endorsement deal.
Even before he was drafted, Michael signed on with Visa to make some serious extra pocket change.
We’re sure to see more corporations aligning with him in the future and sending a national message to the effect of “look how progressive we are!”
Dabbles in reality television.
Oh, Michael, we get it. The spotlight feels good, and what better way to cement your newfound celebrity than with a reality show produced for Oprah‘s OWN?? Excuse me, a “multi-part documentary series.” Much classier.
Well it only took a few days for the NFL to shut down the Untitled Michael Sam Project, thus putting an end to Michael’s out-of-spandex TV stardom. At least for now.
And judging by the ill-fated run of What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, perhaps it’s for the better.
Michael, like so many up-and-coming sports stars before him, has entered into a new league not only in football but in media attention.
So like any budding star, he’s hired a high-profile publicist. Howard Bragman, to be exact.
Bragman, who is openly gay himself (and known to some as publicity’s “gay guru”) and active in the HIV/AIDS community, has some high profile notches on his career belt. He represented gay rights lawyer and activist Joseph Steffan and guided the Lewinsky family through the Clinton scandal.
Let’s hope Sam keeps his image positive. We don’t need any more stories about NFL players getting DUIs, toting weapons into nightclubs or getting in fights. We’re confident these are things where gay and straight NFL players part company. Somehow we don’t see Sam brawling with the boys at the bars or creating havoc with his “posse”: Straight dudes have their homies. Maybe gay players can have their “homos.”
Dating a hottie with a body.
In news that will shock no one, professional athletes tend to attract attractive mates. We’ll let you figure out the science of that on your own.
Well, with Michael Sam it’s no different — enter Vito Cammisano. And regardless of who’s punting and who’s wide receiving (we have our suspicions but you never know), we can only imagine the touchdown dance.
If he really wanted to go down the celebrity cliche road, a sex tape would be the logical next step (Vito did used to date a porn star, after all).
Becoming a member of the celebrity selfie squad.
Chances are you’ve seen this photo:
Or this one:
Well get used to seeing more selfies from Michael and Vito. And we won’t give him all the credit on this one – Queety has helped circulate them, of course.
But just like with other stars, the public loves catching these intimate moments from social media, and we don’t expect that to stop any time soon.
Becoming a TMZ featured cast member.
Once you’ve appeared shirtless in a nightclub on TMZ, you know you’ve really made it. Here Michael strips his shirt off and grinds against some accommodating ladies while Michael Jackson’s classic “Rock With You” is played at the SoCo nightclub in Columbia, Missouri last October, just a few months after he came out to his teammates.
Wonder what that high powered publicist has to say about this one.