Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 2/12/14
In an interview Tuesday with SNY Network's Jeane Coakley, New York Jets defensive tackle and 2013 NFL defensive rookie of the year Sheldon Richardson revealed that he roomed with Michael Sam when the two were teammates at the University of Missouri in 2012 and  knew of Sam’s sexual orientation long before he announced publicly Sunday night that he was gay.Richardson and Sam were teammates at Missouri in 2011 and '12, and while Richardson said Sam never discussed his sexuality with him, he also said he "knew," adding, "You saw him."According to Richardson, it never mattered."Hey, he has his own sexuality. With me living with him, it was a little unusual at first, but it's stuff you look past," said Richardson. "Didn't take nothing from him. He was a great teammate, great person. Everything you wanted out of Michael Sam, you got out of him."Richardson referred to Sam as "my guy" and "my homeboy."Coakley interviewed Richardson in Houston, where he's been working out with Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. She asked Richardson if there was a place for Sam in an NFL locker room."Most definitely—unless your team is immature-minded," Richardson said. "If guys can't get past that, man, it's just crazy. Of course it might be just weird at first for you if you're not used to it. Promise you, sexuality has nothing to do with him being on the football field. He's a completely different person, he put this face on, no smiles. He's serious business. He's a killer."Richardson said Sam did not publicly acknowledge his sexuality in 2012. Sam did tell his Missouri coaches and teammates he was gay last August — before he came out publicly Sunday night.
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