In a recent GQ interview Michael Sam spoke more openly about his rocky growing up in Hitchcock, Texas than ever before, including a childhood with his two older brothers being the only family members who were there – he called his brothers “evil people;”the other family members he called “ghosts.”

With both brothers in prison, he said he no longer has a relationship with them now in spite of the fact that both of them have written him letters from prison. “For them to dare to call themselves my brothers – I can’t live with that.”

He recalled that in spite of leaving the house before dawn and coming home after dark, he was still often beat up. Football became his refuge, an excuse not to go home. He says that in junior high and high school football was just a “hobby.”

“I was just trying to get away from something,” he said. “That was the only reason I did it.” But it eventually turned from a hobby to a love for the game. “Being with the guys on the team at Hitchcock was my real family. Mizzou was my real family. I loved it. Football was a sense of home. A home I never had.”