On The Trinity Perspective, you will find those answers—or at least someone who asked the same questions. We have been in your shoes. The Trinity Perspective collects advice and stories from current students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share with you—prospective students, families, and the Trinity community.

Michael Sam Inspires With Powerful Story

By Allyson Mackender – 

On February 9, 2014, Michael Sam, a defensive lineman at the University of Missouri, spoke confidently about his sexual orientation in an interview with the New York Times. After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Sam became the first openly gay NFL player, setting a precedent for generations of athletes to come. "I'm coming out because I want to own my truth," Sam said in the historic interview. Two years later, Sam once again told his story but this time to a captivated audience at Trinity University.

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community joined Sam in Laurie Auditorium on Monday, October 24 for an inspirational and moving presentation. Beginning with a story of his turbulent childhood, Sam explained his triumphant journey to the University of Missouri and eventually to the NFL. Despite numerous setbacks and challenges, Sam remained resilient and true to himself, which he demonstrated during his amazing speech.

The event, hosted by four Trinity groups, PRIDE, Student Government Association, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and Trinity Diversity Connection, was a huge success. Representatives from some of these groups provided insight into why Michael Sam's lecture was so impactful:

Callum Squires '17, Student Athlete Advisory Committee President 

"Michael Sam was impactful due to his personal and honest story. His assessment of America and the problems contained within its borders was simple, but brutally honest and highlighted how hypocritical some aspects of society can be. Our organisation is determined to promote greater equality and respect, which comes from our TIGE&R campaign we did a couple years back (Tiger Initiating Greater Equality & Respect). This was coupled with a passion for supporting all student athletes on this campus, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. This was an obvious progression following the talk we helped organise two years ago when Hudson Taylor, leader of Athlete Ally, spoke here and taught us about allyship.

Sam was chatty and friendly, and managed to display both a sense of humour and how seriously he takes his message. To me, it seemed he was definitely bitter and disappointed that the NFL didn't take to him as he thought they should, which is understandable given his level of talent in college. He interacted nicely with most people and students and it was clear, considering some of the emotional conversations I witnessed, that his visit meant a lot to many on our campus, both LGBTQ students and others alike."

Lena Dennington '18, Student Government Association Junior Senator

"Michael Sam's talk was an important discussion to open to the campus of Trinity. I believe his impact forwarded the opportunity to continue open discussion and related to many of our students at Trinity. He maintained a very conversational style of speaking, which I appreciated a lot. In terms of our organizational mission, Michael Sam represented a very important initiative we try to cultivate here at Trinity, which is: his conversation pressed forward the fostering of community and diversity, specifically as he represented the gay community. Overall, Michael Sam was engaging, and I believe his talk left a very positive impact on our community as we continue to grow in diversity and understanding."

For more information on Lectures and Visiting Scholars please visit Trinity's webpage.


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