LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Dominique Hamilton says although Michael Sam is poised to become the first openly gay athlete in NFL history this spring, it’s no secret among current players that there are already gay men in the locker room.
During a Monday afternoon appearance with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, Hamilton said he had no idea Sam was gay during the first season they played together at the University of Missouri.
And when he discovered Sam’s sexual orientation, he said it made no difference during the final two seasons they played together in college.
“He didn’t really address it as he did with the team this year,” Hamilton said. “At the end of the day that’s his life. It’s not effecting me. It’s not effecting anybody else. It’s not like he acted different or anything. So, we really didn’t have a problem with it.”
That’s not to say players didn’t have questions.
“A locker room is a locker room,” he said. “People are going to be like, ‘Oh damn, did you hear about (Sam)?'”
But it eventually got to the point where everybody knew his sexual orientation and it wasn’t a big deal among Tiger players. Hamilton said there was never a situation created by a player’s overactive imagination that caused him to think Sam was acting or dressing any differently.
“He was really one of the guys,” said Hamilton.
And that same mentality appears to apply to the NFL where Hamilton currently plays.
“You would be shocked because I know of other players, but I wouldn’t shout them out,” said Hamilton. “I wouldn’t say this person is gay. That’s their personal life and that’s what they do.”
He was then asked to clarify his remark and confirmed he knew of other gay players in the NFL.
“Of course (there are), definitely,” he said. “But that’s their personal life. It’s not for somebody else to speak on… Michael Sam coming out is definitely going to be a strain on the locker room, but it’s mainly going to be a strain on him, though. The NFL locker room is tough. There’s no feeling in there.”
Hamilton spent the bulk of the past two seasons on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad and signed a reserve-futures contract with the Kansas City Chiefs last month. His career also includes a stint with the Oakland Raiders.