The father of college football star Michael Sam said he was “terribly misquoted” by The New York Times in a recent article about the reaction to his son’s announcement that he is gay.
“I did not say anything about my grandkids,” the Galveston Daily News quoted him as saying.
Michael Sam Sr. told the paper he doesn’t want people to think he has an issue with his son’s sexual orientation.
On Sunday, Michael Sam said in interviews with ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” and the Times that he is gay. Sam originally revealed the news to his Missouri teammates in August.
In the Times piece this week, his father described himself as “old school” and is quoted in the newspaper as saying the idea of a gay player in the NFL bothers him, even if that person could be his own son.
However, he backtracked from those comments with the Galveston Daily News, saying he never told the Times he was an old-school, “man-and-a-woman type of guy” or that he didn’t want his grandkids “raised in that kind of environment.”
Sam Sr. did acknowledge much of what he told the Times was accurate, but he said some of his thoughts were taken out of context, specifically a quote about Hall of Fame defensive lineman Deacon Jones “turning over in his grave.”
“I told them Deacon Jones is going to roll over in his grave because here comes my son and that he’s going to be a star in the NFL,” Sam Sr. told the Galveston Daily News.
The Times, in an email to the Galveston paper, defended its reporting and said Sam Sr. was quoted “accurately and fairly.”
The elder Sam also said he has had time to reflect on his relationship with his son. He said he loves his son, that he did the right thing and that he wishes he’d spent more time with him.
The Times previously reported that when Sam returns to his hometown in Texas he usually stays with friends instead of his family.