After publicly coming out of the closet this weekend, Michael Sam has his fair share of obstacles ahead of him as he prepares for the NFL draft and the possibility of being the first ever openly gay player in league history!
Well as an openly gay former footballer, Esera Tuaolo has some interesting insight on the struggles that might possibly be ahead of him. However, unlike Michael, Esera stayed in the closet throughout his career!
The former defensive lineman was asked about the difference between the two somewhat similar situations, and answered quite candidly:
"I'd rather deal with the challenges that he's going through than the ones I went through. And that's being in the closet, and being worried about someone outing me, and living with depression, and living with stress, and living with anxiety attacks, and living with suicidal tendencies."
Esera went on to say that part of the reason he never came out was because of the homophobic language that went on in the locker room, where he says he never felt safe.
However, he points out that both players and coaches are currently more accountable for their actions and language, and that it's a slightly more welcoming environment for gay players.
Hopefully Michael is able to achieve his goal of making it to the NFL and open the doors for other players who wont have to deal with the stress and anxiety Esera dealt with.
[Image via WENN.]