What most people know about Michael Sam's relationship boils down to a brief moment on TV, when the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL shared an emotional hug and kiss with boyfriend Vito Cammisano during the televised draft. It was clear that the two had a strong foundation of love and support, but as both Sam and Cammisano tell it, their romance got off to a rather rocky start.
In the 90-minute documentary "Michael Sam," the men open up about the ups and downs of their relationship, which began when they were students at the University of Missouri. Before they began dating during junior year, Sam and Cammisano had a freshman-year run-in that left a rift between them for two years.
"Me and my buddy Daniel, we were going to this party... one of our first big college parties," Sam says in the above video. "I get to the back patio of the house and I see two guys [hunched] over like they were about to puke or something. One of those guys was Vito."
Sam approached the two and addressed Cammisano. "I said, 'Hey, hey, are you OK? Can I get you anything?'" Sam recalls. "Vito slowly raised up and looked at me. I'll never forget how those eyes looked at me. He's like, 'Get the f away from me!'... I was about to beat up Vito that night!"
For the next two years, the men didn't speak. During that time, Sam became close with the school's swim team, of which Cammisano was a member. All of the athletes mingled during meal times in the dining hall, but neither Cammisano nor Sam acknowledged each other. "Vito never made eye contact with me. Every time I saw him, I was like, 'I don't like that guy. He's rude,'" Sam says. "'I don't like him. I hate him.'"
By their junior year, however, the two began talking and soon began a relationship. "He came out earlier that summer," Sam says of Cammisano. "We started dating that next January.
"Early on, it was awesome," he continues. "And then, bad things started to happen."
Though Cammisano was out, Sam was not, and feared his peers learning the truth about his sexuality. As word began to spread, Sam tried to keep the relationship under wraps -- and Cammisano wasn't happy. "Vito didn't like it. So, that's when the trouble started," Sam says.
The two spent a lot of time inside Cammisano's apartment. "[It was] the only place where Mikey came out," Cammisano says. "We felt comfortable being in our relationship together [in] my apartment. Our little safe haven."
Occasionally, though, Cammisano would visit Sam's apartment. "When Vito came to my house, he had to sneak through in and out of the window," Sam says. "Vito was getting really tired of that."
That's when the couple broke up. "I couldn't give him what he wanted at that time," Sam says.
For a few months, the men didn't speak. Then, around Christmastime, things changed. "Somehow, we started texting again," Cammisano says. "Mikey's like... 'I'm not able to go anywhere for Christmas.' I feel awful. I was like, 'Come home with me [for] Christmas.' So Mikey came to Kansas City for Christmas and that's when [we realized] we missed this. It really was Christmas that brought us back together."
Sam and Cammisano have been together ever since, and aren't shy about showing their affection. It's a far cry from their early days sneaking around campus.
"Times sure have changed -- for the better," Cammisano says.
Related: Michael Sam reveals his thoughts on getting married.