ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis) — Michael Sam is clarifying his comments he gave to TMZ during an interview conducted at Los Angeles International Airport.

TMZ asked the first openly gay football player drafted if he thought that by coming out affected him staying with a team, or if it was the level of talent he competed against.

“I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year, so I don’t think it had to do with talent,” Sam said while at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Sam, who was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of this year’s draft, was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year his senior year at the University of Missouri. He was cut by the Rams before the start of the regular season and was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but the Cowboys waived Sam in October.

Sam also told TMZ that it is “absolutely” his goal to play in the NFL.

“I’m a football player,” Sam said. “I play football.”

Sam later took to Twitter to clarify what he said.

“Despite what headlines you may read, I’ve never said and have never believed that I am being kept out of the league,” Sam tweeted. “I know I have talent to play in the NFL and I look forward to getting an opportunity once again to prove that I can help a team win.”

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