While there are some who believe that Michael Sam’s career has been hurt by his decision to come out as the first openly gay player ever drafted in the NFL, you won’t find Sam himself among that crowd. In an interview with the Oprah Winfrey Network that aired last night, he said that “I did everything I was supposed to do. I did everything right. I am proud of how I handled things.”

After being drafted and cut by the Rams at the end of training camp, Sam joined the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad but was cut again in mid-October. He’s been out of work since then, but doesn’t think that his sexuality has anything to do with it. “I don't like to think that way,” he said. “But I do believe I'm a very talented football player and I'm going to continue working hard and try to get that opportunity to play in the league.”

Sam vowed to keep trying to make an NFL roster for “as long as I can,” and will look to sign with a team and get a full offseason of workouts in before training camp. While the road has certainly not been easy for him, a full year in the league should help Sam determine whether he truly has the on-field talent necessary to play in the NFL.

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[via ESPN]