Sam, whose interview with Winfrey airs tonight (at 10:30pm Eastern on OWN) opened up to the media magnate about his painful childhood at the hands of his hateful & jealous older brothers.
His siblings consisted of two sisters and five brothers. They grew up in the small Texas town of Hitchcock. Of his five brothers, one was killed, and another was declared dead after going missing. Sam says his remaining older brothers were always getting into trouble and known around town as the “damn Sams.”
“They used to abuse me daily,” Sam say. “Maybe just for fun. Maybe because I was different.”
“They called me a lot of things,” he says. “They called me fag, they called me gay — anything you could think of, just to hurt me.”
Sam threw himself into sports, and in the seventh grade, received his first honors in football, basketball and track. “For the first time in my life, I got a trophy,” he says.
“Validation,” Oprah nods.
“Yes, and my mom was so proud of me and it was the first time any of her kids had achievement that high,” Sam says. “It was most valuable player. And I was so proud of those trophies.”
But because of hate, his joy was dashed quickly.
“My older [brother], he was so jealous and he just broke them in front of me, and it was just the saddest thing,” Sam says. “I couldn’t have anything without them destroying it or taking it from me.”
See Oprah’s full interview with Michael Sam tonight, Saturday, December 27, at 10:30pm Eastern. It follows the premiere of the “Michael Sam” documentary at 9pm (Eastern) on OWN.