Area athletes react to Michael Sam's coming out as homosexual

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Thousands of people have stated messages of support for former Missouri football player Michael Sam after he came out as homosexual a few months before the NFL draft, but two Kansas City-area athletes have a unique persepctive on Sam's future.

But of the support messages, Benedictine College basketball player Jallen Messersmith's experience and support may mean a bit more. Last May, Messersmith became the first openly gay U.S. men's college basketball player.

Mizzou's football coach Gary Pinkel says Sam's sexual orientation was never an issue for Tigers

"He's the next link in the chain to making it almost a non-story," said the Blue Springs, Mo., native, "Which is really cool."

However, it may not be easy, at least that's what former Chiefs defensive end Art Still predicts.

"It's human nature," said Still, "Things are gonna happen, Things are gonna be said." Still supports Sam's announcement, however, he believes he will face obstacles. "You're going to have your problems," he said, "you're going to have your issues there, you know, it's just the world we live in."

Messersmith also foresees challenges ahead for Sam. "Because it's uncharted territory," he said. He said Sam's future teammates' support will make all the difference.

"With the support of your teammates, you can do pretty much anything," he said.

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