Michael Sam makes football comeback with Barcelona Dragons

The NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Sam, is set to make his football comeback this weekend. The former SEC defensive player of the year will suit up for the Barcelona Dragons of the European League of Football.

Sam initially signed to the Spanish team back in May as a defensive line coach. However, following the unexpected retirement of American linebacker Max Nacewicz, Sam has stepped off the sideline and into the lineup.

Sam, 33, was a trailblazer in the NFL boldly coming out as gay prior to the 2014 NFL Draft. Later that year, he made history by becoming the first publicly gay player to be drafted into the NFL. Drafted by the Rams in the seventh round, Sam spent time in St. Louis and with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 before being released. The NFL’s first-ever openly gay player then went on to play one season in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes.

Prior to his short but impactful pro career, Sam was an All-American at the University of Missouri. In his senior year, he was named SEC player of the year racking up 10 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, and 47 total stops.

Sam and the Dragons are set to take the field this Sunday against the Stuttgart Surge, as the European League of Football kicks off its second season.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and