Pressey happy for fellow Missouri Tiger Sam

Pressey happy for fellow Missouri Tiger Sam
February 23, 2014, 6:30 pm
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SACRAMENTO - When Missouri All American defensive end Michael Sam recently announced that he was gay, there were many across the country that were proud of this watershed moment.

You can count Boston Celtics point guard Phil Pressey among them.

Pressey is a former star at Missouri and like most standout athletes on a college campus, his path and that of Sam's did cross from time to time.

"He's a good dude," Pressey told "He had a great career at Mizzo. I'm happy about his decision."

Homosexuality has become a hot topic of discussion in professional sports. Prior to Sam's announcement, former Celtic center Jason Collins acknowledged this past summer that he was gay.

And with the Brooklyn Nets signing Collins to a 10-day contract on Sunday, he becomes the first openly gay player on an NBA roster.

"Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. "Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal. I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment."

Pressey understands why so much attention has been paid to Sam and Collins. What they have done is unprecedented in the NBA and NFL.

But for Pressey, them being gay is not a big deal.

"Gay or straight, if you can play then you can play," Pressey said. "That should really be the only thing that matters."

Sam, currently at the NFL scouting combine speaking with several teams, has reportedly not been asked any questions related to him being gay.

Instead, the questions have been the usual getting-to-know a player kind of stuff that all wanna-be NBA rookies are subjected to.

"Like I said, as a football player he was a great player," Pressey said. "Whether he's gay or straight, I know the fans at Mizzo, all the kids at Mizzo, are really proud of him. I just feel he had a great career there."

And he'll likely have an opportunity to continue at the next level where the focus will be on the game he plays and not whether he's gay.