Impact Arizona

Masculinity, Identity, & Moving Forward: I Am Michael Sam

Michael Sam, the first openly LGBTQIA+ athlete drafted by the NFL will discuss masculinity and defining oneself in the 21st century.

Join us for an evening that will challenge our assumptions and beliefs by increasing awareness and fostering critical thinking.

Free  |  Open to the Public

To register, click on the button below:


Michael Sam photoMichael Sam

NCAA All-American Football Player, LGBTQ Athlete and Activist

Celebrated University of Missouri football player, Michael Sam made history when he came out as gay ahead of the 2014 NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport. Since his announcement, through scrutiny, criticism and unreserved admiration, he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community.

Hailing from a tiny Texas town and the 7th of 8 children, Sam’s childhood came with adversity, challenges and pain. With a portion of his early years spent living in a car with his mother, Sam developed steadfast determination to make a better life for himself, identifying sports as his ticket out. With unrelenting athletic aspirations, he went from water boy to star player, earning first-team All-District honors all four years of high school. Sam secured a football scholarship at Missouri where he thrived, culminating in being named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Predicted to be drafted early in the 2014 NFL draft, Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th of 256 players selected. After being released from the NFL, he signed a two-year contract with Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2015,making him the first openly gay player in the league's history. Later that summer, he announced his retirement from football. In recent years, Sam has become a motivational speaker offering firsthand insight into leveraging individual personal strengths to pursue ones dreams, inspiring audiences with perspective on what it means to work hard to define and achieve success.

Sam is recognized as a role model and trailblazer for inclusion in sports, revered for his unswerving courage, graciousness and fortitude. He has received multiple honors, including being named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPYs. 

Location: Beus Center for Law and Society

ASU Downtown Phoenix 
Beus Center for Law and Society - Great Hall
111 E. Taylor St., Phoenix


The Beus Center for Law and Society is located on the corner 1st Street and Taylor.  For driving directions, click on the map button below and then select "Directions," or contact our office.


There are multiple Visitor Parking options at ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. The closest parking to the A.E. England Building is the ASU Visitor Lot located on the southeast corner of N. Central Ave & E. Fillmore Street. Review the parking map,, for all ASU's parking options. Visitors lots are marked in pink and the fee is $3/hour.

There is also a non-ASU pay-by-the-space lot on the northeast corner of N. Central Ave. & E. Fillmore Street and City of Phoenix metered parking is available around all buildings.

Public Transportation:

The ASU Downtown Phoenix campus is accessible by public transportation including bus and the Phoenix Light Rail. The Valley Metro Central Station is across the street from campus and there are light rail stops along Central Ave. For more information and schedules, visit

More information to come.

Michael Sam photo
Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

ASU Downtown Phoenix
Beus Center for Law and Society, Great Hall
111 E Taylor St, Phoenix